Abstract: Reality

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48. Tereza Zelenkova

Crocodiles

Estimate: £1,000-2,000

Silver gelatin print
127 x 101.6 cm
Photographed in 2012

Tereza Zelenkova, born in Czech Republic and living and working in London, is an artist working mainly with black and white analogue photography. Her practice often deals with mysticism, ranging from abstract ideas about death and the sacred, to documenting concrete locations tied to local mythologies or mysterious historical events. Her inspiration often comes from literature and philosophy, but she also embraces coincidence, intuition and analogy as essential working methods.

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.

Zelenkova received First Class from BA (Hons) in Photographic Arts from the University of Wesmtinster in 2010 and obtained her MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London in 2012.

Zelenkova was a finalist of the ING Unseen Talent Award (2016), a recipient of the Jerwood Photoworks Award (2015) and The 1000 Words Magazine Award (2012), among other awards. The artist's artwork has been exhibited at various galleries and museums worldwide, at the Nod Gallery in Prague (2017), Whitechapel Gallery in London (2017), Copeland Gallery in London (2017), Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool (2016), Belfast Exposed (2016) Jerwood Space in London (2015), Le Bal in Paris (2015), at the Saatchi Gallery in 2013 and Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne (2015), and with solo shows at Webber Represents Gallery in London (2017) and Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam (2018).

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Saatchi Gallery, London, SW3 4RY