Tereza Severová is an artist working with several media. Her work examines social space, either literally or figuratively. To begin with she concentrated more on cooperation with people, whose testimony and opinions she collected. In one such case an impression of great tranquillity was the result (the work entitled “The Loss of Memory”, 2005), while in another individual discourses overlap so making it impossible to hear each separately (“Speech” 2006). In most of her work we find the connecting motifs of accumulation and overlapping, a feature the artist pushes ad absurdum. Nevertheless, the viewer does not forget that this involves a direct relationship to lived reality and our world.
In the next stage of her development she turned her gaze from the individual to what surrounds them and the environment in which they operate. From the person she shifts to the formation of their identity through materials. “All Our Things” (2007) was an illusory installation at the Karlin Studios, where using digital montage she created photographs of all of her possessions, a virtual collection of which she put together in the gallery. Manipulated accretion became the topic of her following work. She freed herself from the concrete links of the objects in question to real people and accumulation became for her a metaphor of contemporary social phenomena (Filling and Emptying 2008, Area of Overfilling 2007).
Movement in one direction necessitates a countermovement, which creates a balanced whole. And so recently Severová has begun to operate in opposition to her previous themes, focussing now on absence, emptiness and erasure. To a certain extent she is returning to her early work (The Loss of Memory), not on an indexical but a symbolic level. In one of her last exhibitions at the Gallery Jelení she used both principles, each in a different part of the space and never together. First she gathered together daily newspapers in order to be able to select only certain pages from them. She then removed the text which was redundant for her project. All that remained were strongly abstract words like Love, Home, Age, Beauty, Freedom, Culture, Ideals ... in the background of empty newspaper double-page spreads. In the middle of the gallery she then created a column from all the pages which she had collected during the preparatory work.