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FAMILIAL TRACES

by Tereza Stehlíková


Opening - 15 December 2022 - 19:00

visit on appointment via info@sternstudio.at

Finissage - 12 January 2023 - 19:00


A multi-media exhibition tracing and mapping some of the textures

that make up the narrative of oneself: a fragile and ever-shifting construct made of embodied memories, fragments of early childhood experience, imprints of tactile encounters, threaded with complex family histories. The exhibition builds on the artist’s ongoing research into sensory perception, embodiment, and the liminal space where internal and external topography intertwine.

Performing Daughters, video installation, 2022


Women perform numerous roles. Being a daughter is one all

women share. Some women are also mothers, grandmothers,

or great grandmothers. The video installation explores the fluidity

of these different roles, examining through a poetic language how one’s identity intertwines with the identities of others in a family genealogy, as well as one’s own past, current and future selves.


The year 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of Stehlíková’s ongoing project 4 Generations of Women. The project has resulted in a

number of short films shot over the decade, staging small family

rituals involving the women in the artist’s female line. The process

of performing these rituals, as well as the subsequent editing and sharing of the films, has been a way of spending time together, gathering shared memories and recording and processing experience.

It is a way of centering oneself, within the process of ceaseless transformation. Here the imagery of the last decade is projected

onto the performing women, creating a temporal collage.

Familial Traces, frottage, 2022


“Remembered and forgotten, the stories of the house constantly

unfold on the wall/screen. They are sculpted in the corporeality

of “architexture”; exposed in the marks of duration impressed on materials; inscribed on fragments of used brick, scratched metal,

or consumed wood…” Guiliana Bruno


Frottage is a technique often used by children. It is a playful but

also tactile method, which invites one to come close to the surface

of things. Taking an imprint is a way of communicating with an environment which is involved, intimate and which extends and cuts across time. It doesn’t just engage vision, or touch, but also hearing and smell. For a filmmaker interested in embodiment as well as role

of time, frottage is the perfect technique of entering into a dialogue

with place. It has the power to reveal invisible layers, literally

as well as metaphorically.


For this exhibition Stehlíková used frottage technique to trace elements of her childhood apartment: thresholds, floorboards and doorways, as well as the streets she has walked as a child.

These places: rooms, staircases, streets and pavements are now

part of the artist’s mental morphology. They are embedded in her psyche, having shaped her experience of growing up as much

as the human relationships did.

Tereza Stehlikova is a Czech/UK artist and educator, currently

based in Prague. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art, where she researched the tactile language of moving image.

She works primarily in moving image and participatory performance. Her work is informed by her ongoing exploration of the role of all

our senses and our embodiment in communicating meaning, often using narratives to help activate imagination and provide a framework. Beyond this, the core themes in her creative practice are built around our human relationship to landscape and place in general, while exploring how our environment can become an extension of our

inner worlds. In 2020 Tereza launched an online arts journal/platform Tangible Territory, featuring essays and articles by established artists/authors from the world of arts, science,

philosophy, all centered around the role our senses play in creating meaning in art and life. Her work can be found on her research blog: https://cinestheticfeasts.com