TEREZA STEHLIKOVA S E N S O RY S T R ATA
All images © Tereza Stehlikova 2010 Catalogue design © Eanna Freeney 2010 C R E AT E D BY EANNA FREENEY W W W. E ANNAFREENEY.COM E A N N A F REENEY@GMAIL.COM // / W W W. T EREZAST.COM
NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLAGES FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC
04.11.10 - 28.11.10
Landscape and Embodied Memory I seek to make images that trace the outlines of, and scale shifts in, both external and interior landscapes. Inspired by the forests and valleys of Southern Bohemia, and with a strongly tactile visual sensibility, I aim to create richly contrasting layers of association within a palette of luminous colour. My visual language is informed by my research into the tactile, a sense which relies primarily on the exploration of contrasts, in order to get closer to the authentic multi-sensory experience of being and moving within a landscape. “…human consciousness is not so much determined by various childhood deprivations and traumas, but by the landscape in which a person lived and by the things that he touched… the way a landscape is formed, the number of corners a house has and how crookedly a tree grows outside the window, all these have as much effect on the psyche as the upbringing.” - From On Psychological Morphology by Vaclav Cilek, Czech Geologist and Philosopher
Near and Far The juxtaposition between near and far is like the juxtaposition between touch and sight: where the latter is based on distance and a single point of view, the former calls on proximity and a dispersed point of view.
Texture and Memory The surface of a landscape, the various imprints of time, the marks on trees, rocks and forest paths, made by human or animal touch or by weathering, can all be read as memory maps, as pages inscribed with storiesâ€Ś
The Seamless Landscape The crucial element of my exploration of landscape lies in the disappearance of the division between the inner and outer, so that the external landscape can be read as a map of the psyche, while the interior world of the psyche is informed by the exterior landscape.
Spaces of Vagueness At the moment of perfect balance between the transformation of one image into the next, a door into another space opens up. This space is new, not part of an existing story. It is vague in the sense that it is not yet fixed in its form, but instead is fictional, waiting to be inhabited and transformed by the imagination.
Scale Exploration of the changing perception of scale is crucial in my work. I am interested in the juxtaposition of the larger landscape with the equally fascinating micro-cosmos revealed in a honeycomb. There are parallels between the patterns of the very large and the very small.
Submergence of the Senses By submerging myself in the landscape, not just through sight, but also hearing, touch and smell, another knowledge is gathered by the body, and this knowledge can inform even purely visual work. When I create an image of distant hills, I want to be able to capture not only the distance and the space, which is the domain of sight, but also want to involve other senses. I want the viewer to be able to imagine the feel of grass under her bare feet, or the impression of bark touched a moment before. I want her to sense the changing temperature of the wind on the skin, and the quickening of the heartbeat as she climbs to a peak of the distant horizon.
Layering of Impressions My images are created from layers. These layers are in a dialogue with each other in the same way our senses are. A forest is both the sight of trees, rising towards the sky like the columns of a cathedral, and the texture of moss and pine needles in my fingers. It is the smell of pitch and the sound of the birds in the trees; the cracking of branches under one’s feet. No impression can be isolated, no impression is received in its ‘purity’. What we perceive is informed by all the senses, by what happened just before, by what is about to happen next.
Matter In his writings, Jung describes matter as spirit â€˜seen from withoutâ€™. By studying and observing the external makings of an object or landscape, even a distant planet, one is somehow getting closer to that which is deemed interior and therefore intangible. Or rather, the material becomes the gateway to the spiritual, the outer a reflection of the inner.
Tereza Stehlíková works as an artist, filmmaker, writer and lecturer in animation. She is undertaking a practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art, researching ‘tactile memory’ and its relation to the moving image. Her films have been shown in various international festivals, while her writing, photography and illustration have been widely published. She founded tactile arts network ‘Art in Touch’ and co-edits cross-disciplinary magazine Artesian. www.terezast.com