Behind the Scenes



In Behind the Scenes, Sergey Melnitchenko (b. 1991, Ukraine) gives us a glimpse at the off-stage doings of erotic dancers in a nameless club in China. Melnitchenko, who came to China to work as a dancer, gives us an unusually up-close vision of the club where he works. While subjects prepare to show themselves - to transform into the erotic ideal the public expects to see - Melnitchenko shows us the reality that makes this transformation possible.

Contrary to the masked illusion created by the subjects’ stage performance, their life away from the stage is not a scene; the girls are taking selfies, some lie around exhausted, others stare bored into nothingness, put on their make-up, await their next performance. He explains: “There's no falsehood – it’s not a scene, it’s their everyday life, our life, or rather mine.” Exactly because their lives are brought into focus by one of their own, their sexual appearance gains depth it lacks on stage; the parody of their performance gains even more strength than the image conveyed to the public.