The photography of Tereza Zelenkova is remarkable in that, although it employs a medium that is generally limited to capturing, representing and exploring the surface of things, it strongly alludes to that which often lies beneath the surface; imaginary, subliminal or unconscious undercurrents that, although elusive and difficult to pin down in an exacting way, are both emotionally familiar and hauntingly ever-present within her work. In a visual sense, the images themselves are by no means ethereal – they are crisp, clear, carefully considered and compositionally controlled – and yet each photograph disarmingly hums with discordant undertones that hint at uncertain mysteries, tenuous melancholies or seductively hidden meanings.


In previous projects, Zelenkova has often invoked rather heavy theories or dark themes to propel her work, including the death of God, Paleolithic cave dwellings, the daydreams of insomnia, and what she refers to as the ‘shamelessness’ of Georges Bataille.  So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that her most recent body of work centers upon a seemingly straightforward return to the Czechoslovakian landscapes of her childhood, and visits to various historical and folkloric sites within it. Nevertheless, Zelenkova’s intuitively rich and darkly imaginative sensibilities thrive in such environments, sidestepping literal, documentative description and conventional cultural or allegorical associations in favor of overarching personal and emotional resonances.  Although the photographs are situated in places that purportedly contain legends of Medieval mass murder and heroic villainy, as well as the “Devil’s Table” and the “Gates of Hell”, the specifics of these histories and affiliations are secondary, if not entirely inconsequential, to the underlying and unnerving tenor of the images themselves.  ‘I’m more interested in exploring the general poetics – of the landscape and stories tied to it – than in archiving individual legends or facts’, Zelenkova explains, ‘I’m tracing a sort of subjective image of the place where I grew up, and creating what might be called my own landscape mythology’.


Within this newfound mythology, Zelenkova astutely transforms the literal into the symbolic – fallen trees, hewn rock, faceless figures and inky-black voids insist that the mind wanders far beyond the surface of the scene or the limits of the frame, and, in a sense, deeply and searchingly into itself. Yet by denying the power of the existing stories or established symbols already present in the landscapes of her childhood, Zelenkova exhumes new, resolutely ambiguous, and quietly personal meanings, retaining just enough of an open-endedness for the viewer to feel both enveloped by the dense atmosphere of their presence, and, at the same time, invited to decipher their significances and their nuances for themselves.



- Text written by Aaron Schuman

TEREZA ZELENKOVA

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Table of Contents


I        Work

          (work in progress)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2015

          Two and two is five . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2014

          The Absence of Myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2013

          Georges Bataille . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2013

         The Other Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2012

          Index of Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2011

          Night is also a sun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2011

          Supreme Vice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2010     


II      Publications

         The Absence of Myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2013

         Index of Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2012

         Supreme Vice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2011

     

III    Online Reviews

         The Guardian

         1000 Words blog

         Notes on metamodernism

         Calvert Journal

         Paper Journal

         Der Greif - part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V

         Dazed Digital

         Ahorn Magazine

         Photo-Eye

         1000 Words


IV    Information

         News   

         About

         CV

         Contact

       

V    Editions