From the crumbling remains of Soviet nuclear dreams, to a liquid planet where gender is as fluid as the waters, the work of Maryna Makarenko blends existing realities with the deep potential of the otherwise.
Born in Ukraine and now based in Berlin, Makarenko’s practice spans film, installation, performance, poetry, and a number of mind-body practices.
Working with transient states; the in-between, the unrecognised, the non-existent, and the seemingly useless, Makarenko’s films create spaces for parallel futures and ethereal realities.
Maryna Makarenko: Walking on a Sleeping Elk (2020, 33 mins)
In the post-nuclear catastrophe zone of Chernobyl, Northern Ukraine, young men illegally enter the radioactive exclusion zone. Part of the ‘Stalker’ subculture that emerged across the Post-Soviet states in the 1990s, influenced by video game culture and Andrei Tarkovsky’s post-apocalyptic film Stalker, these young Stalkers enter abandoned and forbidden zones as a process of initiation, a test of their masculinity. Through testimonies, mapping, drone footage, and camera traps, Walking on a Sleeping Elk juxtaposes the dreams, desires, and fears of these young men with the resurgent plant and animal life of this man-made wilderness.
Maryna Makarenko: Jellyfish (2017, 23 mins)
Jellyfish is a cinematic novel; a meditation on the notion of gender. The film blurs borders between physical bodies, identities, and voices. The real characters become inhabitants of a fictional post-gender planet, speculating together on an ideal society where sex is playful, gender is fluid, and societal limitations drift away.
Maryna Makarenko: Sun-Eaters (work-in-progress) (2022, 10 mins)
A very special one-off showing of a soon-to-be completed sci-fi dance film. Set in a future where human-plant hybrids thrive in a barren wasteland, Sun-Eaters touches on Soviet-era experiments in solar power, ancient sun worship, and the practice of breatharianism.
This event includes a post-screening Q&A with artist Maryna Makarenko and Alice Wilde (Artist Development Producer for Visual Art at HOME)
Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022