Mélaina Cholé is a photographic exploration of humoral theory conceived by Hippocrates. This theory explained physical and psychological health or illness in terms of the state of balance or imbalance of various bodily fluids.
Cristiano Volk is an Italian photographer who lives and works in a small town called Staranzano in northeastern Italy. Various interests are involved in his works such as tourism in Venice within the Sinking Stone project, the major depressive disorder in Mélaina Cholé and the connotations of consumers and money in Laissez-faire.
In April 2019 his first book Sinking Stone was published by Witty Books. This year his second book Mélaina Cholé was published by the American publishing house Yoffy Press.
This is part of the original musical score composed by Byung-Woo Lee for the 2009 South Korean film Mother. It was directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snowpiercer, Parasite etc.).
According to Hippocrates (5th century bce), health was a function of the proper balance of four humors: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Volk, in particular, focuses on black bile, described as a cold and dry fluid, generated by the archetype of the earth.
Within the book, we find images of the planet earth seen from space, of human body cells, and of people’s faces following the theory of physiognomy of the time. Humoral theory provided psychology with its earliest personality typology, and Hippocrates’ ideas prevailed well into the 17th century. Extensive traces of this hegemony survive in modern language: the heart was indicated as the seat of feelings and in particular of love which, poetically, is “breath of life”; Melancholia is a feeling of sadness but also a serious form of depression.