ING Unseen Talent Award: Tereza Zelenkova

by Unseen September 05 2016

Image credit:
Some kind of night into your darkness, 2016 © Tereza Zelenkova

London-based Tereza Zelenkova (1985, ) is a photographic artist often working with mythologies surrounding particular places or people. She received her MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London. Zelenkova's work has been exhibited worldwide, most recently at the Jerwood Space, London, Le Bal, Paris and Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne. She has several self-published books and in 2011 her work Supreme Vice was published by Mörel Books.

Artist Statement

My photographs were loosely inspired by one of the most notorious Czech love stories told in a book by Božena Němcová, a 19th century female writer. The tale is a dark romance of Viktorka, a girl from rural Bohemia, and a mysterious soldier passing through her village, who seduces her only to abandon her later. Shamed, pregnant and deranged, she is compelled to spend the rest of her life haunting the local forest. This fatal love affair comprises superstition, obsession, and death, but it also hints at the difficult subject of female emancipation. I decided to imagine this story through intimate photographs, taking inspiration from vernacular snapshots, old photo albums, carte de visite, and medical photographs. The resulting pictures are an imperfect evidence of my protagonists' ghostly existence captured on the transparent surface of the photographic film, which never lies but rarely ever tells the full truth; much like the memory and stories we tell.

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