The images I chose for this project reflect my long-standing research into performance, body language and communication, exploring the body as a pattern-like motif, full of cultural, contextual and anthropological meaning.
The images are part of my multi-sensory work Scents of Self, first exhibited at Basement Art Project in Leeds in 2018.
I seek to create communication through clothing and visual style in a post-modern key where all ages and all inspirations converge and converse, creating looks that play with style as a post-subcultural language. This language doesn’t have a tense, all meanings are jumbled up in an eternal Now. In this sense, the installation further develops my practice exploring the way we communicate through our appearance, the portrayal of women in the arts and media, and the iconography of style. I explore the way we associate clothes and images with intimacy, feeling and meaning. It is through going into the recesses of our perception and memories of places, smells, times and styles, that we discover our most ancestral, intimate self.
About Emilia Telese
Emilia Telese (Italy, 1973, lives and works in Reykjavík) is an award-winning artist, writer and academic. A graduate of the 600-year-old Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, her practice spans several art forms, from interactive and body-responsive technology, film and live art to installation and public art. She has exhibited worldwide since 1994, including the Louvre, Paris, the New Forest Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), Chashama (New York City, USA), Centro Cultural Telemar (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil), Manege (St Petersburg, Russia), Leeds City Gallery, ArtSway(New Forest, UK) and the Freud Museum (London UK), Tate Britain, London’s Royal Festival Hall, and many more.
Often site specific, Telese’s work deals with conscious engagement, political and social debate, non-verbal communication and the questioning and deconstruction of behaviour.
Emilia Telese has dealt with the crossover between art and life, stereotypes and the unexpected through work such as “Life of a Star” (presented at the 2005 Venice Biennale, and subsequently in solo shows in Denmark and the UK) and “Perfect Ten” (first presented at Leeds City Art Gallery, and also presented at the Endangered Species world summit about women and the media, Royal Festival Hall, February 2011, subsequently in New York and Rio de Janeiro).
For more information, visit