Loneliness Online



In Loneliness Online, a series by the young photographer Sergey Melnitchenko (b. 1991, Ukraine), we are presented with a unique online matchmaking effort. In one half of the images, different young males undress online, revealing themselves and sometimes going much further. Melnitchenko discovered this phenomenon while he was in a video chat with his friends and, being intrigued by it, he started devoting more time to these chats, trying to find men that were posing naked. Melnitchenko captured screenshots of between 200-300 of these interactions from and eventually paired them with images of trees, which he found on Google, taking a picture of his monitor with his phone camera. The result are lo-fi diptychs, couplings of the online pursuit of connection by single individuals with scenes of single trees in nature. Melnitchenko, finding trees symbolic of loneliness, regarded the men he photographed as lonely beings, and he invites his viewers to contemplate solitude and connection, particularly as it can be found online.