From my recent commission for Financial Times. "Although I rarely ever take photos in London, in this strange ever-transient metropolis that I made my home nearly ten years ago, living in England has had an undeniable influence on my work. The strange Victorian customs and fascination with death, Gothic tales, Romantic nostalgia for bygone times and faraway places, and of course the obsession with collecting, are all interwoven into my practice. There are many things here that continue to excite my imagination but what truly fascinates me about London are all the varied communities of people that have been moving here from all kinds of places around the world, weaving their personal journeys and stories into the fabric of each neighborhood.
One such neighborhood is Spitafields and one such story is the one of Dennis Severs who bought a dilapidated house in Folgate Street back in the 70’s, transforming it into a peculiar artwork in its own right. Severs, who I’d like to imagine as the 20th century answer to Des Essientes, a decadent character from Huysmans infamous novel Against Nature, transformed his house into a sensual feast in which he surrounded himself with historic interiors, carefully arranged objects and of course an array of smells and sounds that all bring his “still life drama”, as he called it, to life. Upon my recent visit, I was pleased to discover that the house at 18 Folgate Street keeps bravely resisting the common notion of time as well as the ever-encroaching sterile City developments of glass and steel, maintaining a good level of distance from the mundane sanity of the everyday life." #terezazelenkova #dennissevers #financialtimes #photolondon