Selected works by Tereza Zelenkova

Tereza Zelenkova
Cometes

2012

Framed silver gelatin print

127 x 101.6 cm

To make photography startling in a culture saturated with the photographic image is Tereza Zelenkova’s - as every photographer’s - particular challenge. Her approach is to draw from the estrangement of image and subject familiar from Surrealist photography: to dismantle the photograph’s claims to truth, to complicate the act of looking. Take her photograph Cometes (its title referring to the Greek term meaning both ‘comet’ and ‘long-haired’): the stark flash associated with paparazzi photography, its hard light a way to render every blemish visible in the gloom of night, has been applied to an image of concealment, of invisibility.

Tereza Zelenkova
Crocodiles

2012

Framed silver gelatin print

127 x 101.6 cm

Standing at the corner of a church in Prague, a girl runs her fingers through her very long hair, which nearly sweeps the ground. The hair takes on its own spectral life (the church architecture and implied graveyard adding supernatural resonances to the image); it might be an embrace between a human and a ghost. Zelenkova’s work Crocodiles turns the photograph against itself in a similar way. Taken on a huge chicken farm in the Czech Republic (the artist’s homeland), the image depicts crocodiles used as a cheap way of disposing of unsellable chickens. The image elides its context, though, filling the frame with the piled-up bodies of the animals, whose complex scaling creates a kind of swirling abstraction. The black and white film transforms the crusty skins of the creatures into dusty stone. The act of photography is, here, a kind of Medusa’s gaze: the world seems ancient, mythic, and troubling.

Text by Ben Street


Articles

NEW GRADUATES: TEREZA ZELENKOVA
July 23rd 2012, by Emily Graham, Contact Editions

Compelling new work from recent Royal College of Art graduate Tereza Zelenkova (who we previously featured after graduating from Westminster here), questioning the medium through a series of enigmatic images, drawing reference from art and literature. The work is presented as an incredibly well thought out installation, complete with objects from her personal collection. From her project statement:
“This work can be understood as a metaphor for the night as a time associated with both inspiration and imagination, but also melancholia, solitude and isolation. The darkness of the night, like the darkness inside a camera, is a space where images are conjured. Here I am not really interested in the images brought to us by dreams but rather by that point of insomniac vigilance when one can no longer recognize what’s a dream and what’s reality; when familiar objects start to take on shapes of something else, undergoing a sort of metamorphoses. In the world of hyper real digital imagery, I chose to look at the world with my eyes squinting in order to filter out the insignificant detail, allowing imagination to complete the image.”

Read the entire article here
Source: contacteditions.co.uk


TEREZA ZELENKOVA
February 2nd, 2012, Wolf Song

"I wish I could look at the contemporary landscapes, objects or fashion with more interest but sometimes I just think that I was born in the wrong century”
Tereza Zelenkova is a Multi-disciplined photographer, who has been able to exhibit with the likes of The Royal College of Art, Chelsea Museum of Art, Twelve around One Gallery and a long list of establishments worldwide. Her work remains a testament to traditional depictions of the darker side of existence, using the macabre, minimalism and symbols as communicative tools; held together by the frequency of her black and white use. Her work is sometimes primal; sometimes intimate- but overall strong in its ability to invoke both familiarity and alienation equally, amongst her several bodies of work.

Read the entire article here
Source: thewolfsong.com


INDEX OF TIME
2012, by Daniel Campbell Blight, Photomonitor

Created in voluminous amounts, self-published photobooks are everywhere. While some are dull and footling, a few are marvellously illuminating. The hit-and-miss qualities of photobooks may be an accurate reflection of the state of self-publishing in general: it’s under-edited, over-designed grandiloquence is a reaction to an oversaturated market; a place where too many photographers are competing for too little attention. The growing photobook trend may be problematic, but when one is finished wading through a riddle of inconsistencies, the feeling of satisfaction upon finding a great book is plenteous, exciting even.
Every so often, out of a torrent of vacuity, emerges a little gem: a book that actually means something, documents something real, morbid and fascinating, and offers instead of empty gesturing a substance to it that sticks its nails into one’s eye sockets. This is one of those books.
Index of Time is made with great consideration and care. Its grey, recycled cover and black type is well suited to its cavernous contents. Inside the fold out cover we find a map of Býčí skála cave, a 13-kilometre cave system in the Czech Republic, accompanied by a short text explaining what it is, how it has been explored and some of the artifacts and wall drawings it contains. A man named Wankel discovered the first parts of the cave system in 1872 and promptly romanticised his findings. Inside the cave he stumbled upon the tomb of a man whose skeleton was covered in jewels and a crown. Around him lay forty female skeletons, some beheaded and all ritually sacrificed. It would seem from the very beginning this cave was discovered to be fictionalised; its history and physical nature provide an apt setting for something, well, weird to happen.

Read the entire article here
Source: photomonitor.co.uk


TEREZA ZELENKOVA
19th October 2010, Michael Salu, It’s Nice That

She happens to be a friend, but Tereza Zelenkova is absurdly talented, annoyingly young with immense integrity and intelligence to her work. She possesses an uncanny and unique ability to almost entirely diffuse the veracity of the medium and simply articulate the subjectivity of the everyday. An existentialist with bite, and I quote “Nothing is real, everything is permitted.”

Read the entire article here
Source: itsnicethat.com


AN INTERVIEW WITH TEREZA ZELENKOVA
by Antone Dolezal, Finitefoto

"The illusive nature of Czech born photographer Tereza Zelenkova’s work immediately drew me in. It is work that is curious in both aesthetic and intent, relying on a poetic narrative that is never fully descriptive, but carries a heavy omen of dark undertones. Zelenkova’s recent body of work Supreme Vice was published by Morel Books and the images weave together a series of stark landscapes and studio images deeply rooted in a Gnostic view of occult symbolism. The photographer’s work alludes to sense of an individualistic exploration into the spiritual world. A world in which many of us go to look for ourselves, regardless of how dark the path we choose to travel my be.

For this issue of Finite Foto I felt Zelenkova’s perspective and photographic aesthetic to be a complimentary addition to the wide-variety of various photographic viewpoints we have selected to feature. Between working on her forthcoming publication Seeing for Others, Index of Time and numerous exhibitions including the group Hijacked III at the QUAD Gallery in Derby, UK, Zelenkova was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions and give further insight into her unique world view."

Read the entire article here
Source: finitefoto.com


SUPREME VICE: TEREZA ZELENKOVA


Tereza Zelenkova’s gnostic vision is fused with occult symbolism and interwoven with bleak and mysterious landscapes.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” was undoubtedly the maxim driving this series, which seems no less then a visual diary of a Thelemite, alchemist, mystic etc.
This series seems not only a personal journey in the most poetic of senses, but through the driving philosophy, Tereza has managed to tread a photographic path unlike that of any other.

Read the entire article here
Source: morelbooks.com


TEREZA ZELENKOVA AND PETER WATKINS: INDEX OF TIME
13 August 2012, by Brad Feuerhelm, Contemporary Photography Magazine Online

Launched at Donlon Books in East London last Thursday, and already down to the final few copies, Index of Time by Tereza Zelenkova, Peter Watkins and Oliver Shamlou is an ambitious cornucopia of words and images, musing on the dark mythologies and historiography surrounding the second largest cave structure in the Czech Republic. Here, 1000 Words Associate editor, Brad Feuerhelm, of Ordinary Light Photography fame, gets a first-hand look at the book and offers his reflections on this unique and at times beguiling project.
Index of Time offers an interesting ménage a trois of absurdist literature and cold and ritualistic photographic Gnosticism, with approximately 40 murders by an above average Troglodyte thrown into the mix. If that were not enough to pique your curiosity, the pictures and words are well conceived and patterned, rather tethered to each other in a black and sinking maelstrom of cave-dwelling intrigue.

Not always the easiest of marriages, photography and literature in the context of a small edition of 100 is intimate and somehow eludes arbitrary measure, enabling the brooding photographs that share their pages with a humorous taxonomy of archaeology exemplified by a furrowing shaman named Slogger.

Read the entire article here
Source: 1000wordsphotographymagazine.blogspot.co.uk


TEREZA ZELENKOVA
Artists Statement

For me, photography is at once intimate as well as a relentless witness of our existence. It is directly related to our experience of being in this world and my intention is to record and somehow translate my subjective vision into images. At the core of my practice I seek to destabilize different subjects by reassessing their potential as metaphors for broader questions surrounding photography’s capability for representation and its relationship with the real. By looking at them through a prism of art and literature, I attempt to realign their place in the world and open up their potential for meaning.

Read the entire article here
Source: saatchi-gallery.co.uk


TEREZA ZELENKOVA
Artists Statement

For me, photography is at once intimate as well as a relentless witness of our existence. It is directly related to our experience of being in this world and my intention is to record and somehow translate my subjective vision into images. At the core of my practice I seek to destabilize different subjects by reassessing their potential as metaphors for broader questions surrounding photography’s capability for representation and its relationship with the real. By looking at them through a prism of art and literature, I attempt to realign their place in the world and open up their potential for meaning.

Read the entire article here
Source: saatchi-gallery.co.uk


TEREZA ZELENKOVA
PICA: Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

Tereza Zelenkova's work revolves around questions concerning the very basis of human existence, often contemplating ideas about our mortality and religious beliefs. Her photographic subjects range from vast American landscapes to banal everyday objects, all of which she portrays with the same, near-forensic directness. Zelenkova works predominantly in black and white, producing photographs which reflect her bleak vision of the world where, as she writes, "God is dead and science is unable to provide us with satisfactory answers". The dark overtones presented in her photographs provide a weaving narration that allows the viewer to embark on a journey that is both mysterious and poetic.

Read the entire article here
Source: pica.org


TEREZA ZELENKOVA: SUPREME VICE
14/10/11, by Caleb Churchill, Humble Arts Foundation

In Tereza Zelenkova’s artist statement accompanying the body of work Supreme Vice (2011), the Czech-born visual artist explains that this body of work evolved from ideas surrounding the occult revival in the 19th century. This renewed interest in the occult posits a counter-narrative to prominent Western ideologies regarding perception, reality, and the human experience. As many have noted, photography was born from a collective desire to accurately render the visual world. There is the simplified story of Louis Daguerre and Fox Talbot simultaneously arriving at the creation of commercially viable photographic technology, but the idea of photography was inherited. The increasing dependence of Western ideology and thought on vision, the preferred sense from which to perceive and understand the surrounding world, accounts for the photographic impulse that entertained the use of the camera obscura, diorama, physionotrace, and other interpretations of the photographic. The pervasiveness of positivism, rationality and the scientific method justified what could be seen and quantified as the only valid form of experience and truth. The photographic embodies this reliance on sight and reality. It is important to account for Zelenkova’s use of photographic technology to unravel the façade of rationality we attribute to our history and society. Her use of compositionally direct black and white photographs, a medium associated with truth, to give credence and visuality to “our susceptibility to irrational beliefs” emphasizes this duality as an integral part of human experience.

Read the entire article here
Source: hafny.org


TEREZA ZELENKOVA: SUPREME VICE
14/10/11, by Caleb Churchill, Humble Arts Foundation

In Tereza Zelenkova’s artist statement accompanying the body of work Supreme Vice (2011), the Czech-born visual artist explains that this body of work evolved from ideas surrounding the occult revival in the 19th century. This renewed interest in the occult posits a counter-narrative to prominent Western ideologies regarding perception, reality, and the human experience. As many have noted, photography was born from a collective desire to accurately render the visual world. There is the simplified story of Louis Daguerre and Fox Talbot simultaneously arriving at the creation of commercially viable photographic technology, but the idea of photography was inherited. The increasing dependence of Western ideology and thought on vision, the preferred sense from which to perceive and understand the surrounding world, accounts for the photographic impulse that entertained the use of the camera obscura, diorama, physionotrace, and other interpretations of the photographic. The pervasiveness of positivism, rationality and the scientific method justified what could be seen and quantified as the only valid form of experience and truth. The photographic embodies this reliance on sight and reality. It is important to account for Zelenkova’s use of photographic technology to unravel the façade of rationality we attribute to our history and society. Her use of compositionally direct black and white photographs, a medium associated with truth, to give credence and visuality to “our susceptibility to irrational beliefs” emphasizes this duality as an integral part of human experience.

Read the entire article here
Source: hafny.org


FEATURED ARTIST- TEREZA ZELENKOVA
14/10/11, by Caleb Churchill, Humble Arts Foundation

In Tereza Zelenkova’s artist statement accompanying the body of work Supreme Vice (2011), the Czech-born visual artist explains that this body of work evolved from ideas surrounding the occult revival in the 19th century. This renewed interest in the occult posits a counter-narrative to prominent Western ideologies regarding perception, reality, and the human experience. As many have noted, photography was born from a collective desire to accurately render the visual world. There is the simplified story of Louis Daguerre and Fox Talbot simultaneously arriving at the creation of commercially viable photographic technology, but the idea of photography was inherited. The increasing dependence of Western ideology and thought on vision, the preferred sense from which to perceive and understand the surrounding world, accounts for the photographic impulse that entertained the use of the camera obscura, diorama, physionotrace, and other interpretations of the photographic. The pervasiveness of positivism, rationality and the scientific method justified what could be seen and quantified as the only valid form of experience and truth. The photographic embodies this reliance on sight and reality. It is important to account for Zelenkova’s use of photographic technology to unravel the façade of rationality we attribute to our history and society. Her use of compositionally direct black and white photographs, a medium associated with truth, to give credence and visuality to “our susceptibility to irrational beliefs” emphasizes this duality as an integral part of human experience.

Read the entire article here
Source: hafny.org


FEATURED ARTIST- TEREZA ZELENKOVA
December 20th, by Dorell Merritt, BITE Magazine

Czech artist Tereza Zelenkova’s mystical photography is an exploration of symbolism, in her occult subject-matter and her experimentation with darkness and light in landscape imagery. BITE interviews her to discover more about her unique and poetic vision:
1) Could you explain the importance of light within your work?
Regarding the fact that I am a photographer light is pretty essential. Personally I don’t ascribe it any specific metaphorical meaning in my photographs. Of course you can talk for hours about interrelations between lightness and darkness but I don’t think that I would bring anything new to the discourse.
2) Anonymity also seems to play a dominant element in your work - why so?
I guess I have never really been interested in portraiture. Perhaps it is because I’d like to address themes that speak about life in general and not about one specific person or group of people.

Read the entire article here
Source: bite-zine.com