Tereza Kozinc · Finding Stenli

Nov 23, 2020

Tereza is a Slovenian photographer using the medium as a means of self-expression. Inspired by the people and things that surround her, Tereza prefers to work following her gut-feelings and almost never stages a photograph. In her series 'Finding Stenli', she depicts her personal journey about "looking for home". In the past years, Tereza relocated several times, making her question the idea of belonging, and how this is affected by our roots and identity.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

TK - Thank you for the invitation! I was born in Slovenia, now living between Ljubljana and Paris. I studied multimedia and have been working in different fields, from video editing to vegan cuisine. Last years I gave more time to photography, but have been photographing since my late teenage years. In July 2020 I gave birth to my son, so these months I am discovering the new world of being a mother. Still taking photos though.

 

am - How did you start in photography?

TK - By chance I discovered I could express myself through images. Very thankful for that! Also, it was (and still is) a way for me to get to know myself better. I actually started first with digital photography and then got to know the analogue. I am a self-thought photographer, I learned what I needed to know and still learning to this day. The camera is just a tool and for me the simpler it is, the better. Like this I can concentrate more on the content, self expression, intuition. I do prefer to work on film, it’s another process (of taking an image) and also the result.

 

am - What inspires your work?

TK - My everyday life, I always start from what is around me. Then I usually transform it into something not so real. I let the imagination flow, there is no scheme or prediction while I am taking photos, just pure presence in the moment. It’s a state that every photographer experience I believe. I almost never stage a photo, the feeling in my stomach is the one that tells me when is the moment where something is happening. I do many portraits/self-portraits of the people that are close to me, also I noticed that there are many sorts of trees on my images. I believe they are like self-portraits as well. It’s the reflection of my inner state in that moment when the photo is taken. And then comes the editing which is again very important. And more down to earth. Photos have their own life and with time they show their true face.

am - What is 'Finding Stenli' about?

TK - Stenli was somebody who was very dear to me and his disappearance had some influence on my life. I have also been changing home in the last years and traveled quite a lot, then I have started to ask myself where is my home. I knew my roots, I knew my heart, but still I had this missing part in me, so I gathered work that was done while feeling and questioning all this. Stenli became my metaphor for my utopic search of a home. The search is manifesting in different forms in different parts of the globe, from Japan to my backyard.

 

am - What are the main challenges that you currently face as an artist?

TK - Many challenges at this time. In November 2020 I should have had 5 exhibitions. That has never happened to me before. One of them should even be in the 'Carrousel du Louvre' in Paris. I won the 'Fotofever prize'. Due to Covid-19 most of them are being cancelled or postponed. Now, my son is 4 months old and it could be difficult to travel around Europe. Also, there is a very heavy atmosphere in Slovenia regarding our right-wing government. They are doing absolutely everything to destroy (mostly independent) culture segment, because it’s the one not playing on their tunes. It’s becoming quite scary.

 

am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

TK - As a child the first artist that moved me and opened a new world was Frida Kahlo. I admire Japanese photographers, Masahisa Fukase and Issei Suda. Then I like the works of Berangere Fromont, Katrin Koenning, Alisa Resnik, Esther Teichmann, Chris Killip and Klavdij Sluban and many more who I discover day by day.

 

am - What is your favourite photo book?

TK - Oh, the wonderful world of photobooks! Every book is unique and a challenging collaboration between photography, design, editing, paper and binding.

'Sleep Creek' by Hausthor & Paul Guilmoth (published by Void) is really amazing and 'Half Light' by Loic Seguin (also Void) was the last great photobook that went into my collection.

 

am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

All images © Tereza Kozinc

 

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