Still Life Still

By Tereza Stehlíková

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Still
Without or almost without motion or sound or both…
In painting, representation of inanimate things; deep silence…
An ordinary photograph, as distinct from a motion picture… Grow calm… 

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Distil
Extract essence…

Leaf
Expanded organ (usually green) of plant…

Wing
One of the limbs or organs by which the flight of a bird, bat, insect, angel is effected…

Vein
Rib of insect’s wing or of leaf

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Decay comes first, what’s left is
a beautifully faultless framework,
preserved for the future.

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Autumnal lead contains
high amount of minerals
and so becomes atrophied,
its veins stop functioning,
do not feed the tissue,
Autumnal lead in its skeletal form
becomes immortal,
Phantom.

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A butterfly consumes all it will ever eat
while a caterpillar.
Once a butterfly it hardly ever eats.
Like a ghost. The final perfect image. Imago

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Inside a collector’s box.
Its body preserved forever
in the moment of its death,
just like a leaf of autumn.
It keeps for hundreds of years.

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A moment captured.
A fragment.
Life still.


These are notes and extracts from an ongoing project, which is inspired by the extinction of various butterfly species in Britain.

The project is a sort of meditation (in words, images, and film) on the idea of time: what disappears, and what can be preserved.

Through my work I attempt to look beyond the surface of things, trying to rediscover their essence, which is the meaning behind the outer form. I believe that in their essence all things are timeless.

Tereza Stehlíková