“We need to use our bodies as a kind of sensor”: artist Tereza Stehlíková on the importance of taste, touch and smell

Photo: Czech Radio

Tereza Stehlíková is a film and visual artist engaged in cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of art, philosophy, and science. As well as an interest in landscape and place, Stehlíková has devoted much of her career to exploring how the different senses interact with one another – particularly how moving images can be used to communicate embodied experience, how the audio-visual senses can evoke touch, taste, and smell, and the connection of the senses with emotions and memory. On December 1 she will be hosting a multidisciplinary symposium in Prague, bringing together artists, scientists and philosophers to discuss humans’ relationship to our physical environment.

Tereza’s recent exhibition Ophelia in Exile, held earlier this year at the Czech Centre London, explored what happens when the sensory components of our lives are lost, as many of us experienced during successive covid lockdowns when the world was reduced to screens with little to no multi-sensory engagement. The idea behind the exhibition was that the Shakespearean character Ophelia had been quarantined in her living room and her only means of engagement with the outside world was through screens. By inviting you into the location of her “sensory exile”, Stehlíková explored the feelings of flatness and disembodiment that many of us became all too familiar with during the height of the pandemic.

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Author: Anna Fodor