Capturing Slavic legends with Czech photographer Tereza Zelenkova

10 April 2018

Slavic legend says that a snake lives in every home, bringing happiness and prosperity to all who live there — as long as a small bowl of milk is left on the threshold.

The tale is just one of the stories unearthed by Czech photographer Tereza Zelenkova, who has spent the last two years hunting down myths and legends from eastern Europe and beyond.

Her meticulous research is captured in her latest exhibition, A Snake That Disappeared Through a Hole in the Wall, at Foam 3h in Amersterdam.

Each snapshot offers glimpses of a fantastical archaeology merging science, religion and history. The London-based photographer captures the image of a small hole in the bedroom wall of the ruthless 16th-century countess Elizabeth Bathory, a woman said to bathe in the blood of virgins to preserve her youth. A door in the Gothic Houska Castle allegedly leads to the entrance gate to hell. And the centuries-old Byci Skala Cave — a rich archaeological site that is also considered a sacred space — reveals itself as a mass grave for ritually sacrificed women.

A Snake That Disappeared Through a Hole in the Wall is running from 6 April to 24 June at Foam 3h in the Netherlands. For more information, visit the gallery’s website here.