March 2020 has become significant for world history. After all, not only the states closed the borders, we were forced to close the door of our house from the inside. Each person has become a bearer of potential danger to others, regardless of social status, psychotype, race, gender, age. Accustomed to seeing the world as accessible, tangible, consumable and so cramped, now they only had the opportunity to observe their usual life from afar through a computer monitor. It was no longer necessary to go to a retreat to meet ourselves against the backdrop of picturesque mountain slopes, we were in for a brutal encounter with our own ego in real conditions. For some, this meeting became a painful discovery of inner emptiness, but for others it was an amazing adventure of cognition.
It was in the process of getting to know oneself that the series “Microcosm” by Artyom Humilevskiy appeared. During the quarantine period, the photographer began creating staged self-portraits at home. In the photo, which became the beginning of the series, the author seems to be hiding behind house plants in the corner, symbolically and succinctly denoting the existing dead-end state of each person during a pandemic. In subsequent works, Humilevskiy, although he turns to self-irony, nevertheless, while photographing himself in the nude, experiences moments of self-acceptance. Over time, the series of self-portraits went beyond the scope of fun during the period of self-isolation and became a personal diary, where each picture can be associated with important events, thoughts or intimate feelings of the author.
The microcosm in natural philosophy denotes the reflection of the Universe through the personality, the imprint of the general in the particular. Artem Humilevskiy’s series awakens empathy with its spontaneity and openness. We are close to picturesque landscapes, home interiors and travels in which the artist captures himself. And if the portrait of a person is his story, then the space around the object builds its meaning.