Inventory for La Raia Foundation  

Site-specific intervention commisioned by Ilaria Bonacossa for the tenth anniversary of La Raia Foundation in Gavi. The permanent artwork opened to the public on May 2023. 

An inventory is a list of things we come upon, a record of what is found. Like a pixel in the landscape of La Raia, the small grotto at the entrance of the Foundation is easily lost among all the other information present in this territory, in this fragment itself of a region. This is what makes the grotto an interesting space for collection and recollection: the area surrounding it contains very rich data on the different things that can be found in this place, about La Raia’s biodiversity, but also about the human presence in this estate. All these things, if we fail to take a closer look, are hidden to our sight or just lost among the many pixels that make up the image of this landscape.

In an effort to engage visitors in an exercise of careful observation, I turned this grotto into the Inventory of the surrounding space, into the nutshell where reinterpreted elements made from porcelain and stoneware that have been abstracted from the context are contained. The embedded objects of this newly specified space are also there to be inhabited by the insects and plants that already occupy the space. It is indeed the act of settling in the fabricated structure (in this case the sculptures, and before that the man-made grotto) that gives meaning to the intervention and allows time, form and function to be somehow suspended in this small reminiscent space.

For a video of the WIP and the soundscape created for the work click here.


30 future sculptures, 3 missing drawings 

Design by Thea Kleinhempel, pics by Federica Mambrini. Special edition of 60 numbered copies, self-published.
Printed in Leipzig on November, 2022.

  Available on request.


Via Spaventa (with Federico Clavarino)

For two years Federico and I walked down the same street several times a day to get to our studio. It was the fastest route, but not the prettiest. The section of it that we traversed had been turned into a dump, where people from the area left their broken furniture, clothes and garbage to accumulate until the wind and those passing by reshuffled it. The walls of the street were full of colorful graffiti. The sun hit the concrete so hard that on hot days it was a true torture to walk past there, without any trees to give some shade.

Its name, translated in English, would be something along the lines of The Scary Road. We made it a goal to find a way to enjoy our daily walks on that street. I built my own porcelain palaces resembling those on the street and glazed them with the same colors and shapes of the graffiti on the wall.  I also used the images that Federico took there, with its people, its light and its forms, to construct my pieces. The result of this work, Via Spaventa, brings together his images and my sculptures.

This project is part of a larger research we started in 2022 called The Crab’s House, in which we explore our migrations and the ways we have of inhabiting the space as we look into alternative models of dwelling. 

1. Bezoar

A Bezoar is a stone made of remnants, parts that did not follow the normal route within a system. In most cases, it stays unnoticed in the tract or stomach of its host. When bezoars were first extracted from animals or humans, our predecessors were confronted with a dilemma: how to approach this unusual, threatening and at the same time, extraordinary thing.

Bezoars were then attributed magical properties, particularly those of counteracting poison, and soon came to be known as precious antidotes. That which could have caused death was now that which could prevent it.

The most common type of bezoar is the Phytobezoar, which is made up of indigestible materials (such as plants, fibers, peels). When these elements are processed in the stomach, and fail to be integrated in the digestive and nutritional chains, they change and become stone-like formations that stay inside the body. This alteration indirectly transforms them from biofacts into some type of artifacts. 

In this project I explore this connection through bezoars made from reclaimed clays and glazes that are then fired several times, actively altering the different elements they are made of. The kiln, much like the stomach, has a central role in enabling these “mutations”. The end product of these transformations is then placed on a pedestal similar to those upon which the rarest organic bezoars -valuable objects of desire- now stand on in museums around the world. 

2. Are people flowers?

Motivated by George Ohr and Betty Woodman’s work in ceramics, and particularly vases, in this collaboration we focused on exploring these containers that, due to their ornamental and functional nature, are usually dismissed as works that stand outside the art world, when they are instead carriers of culture and meaning. To further dive into this connection between an object often overlooked in its power to transmit history - vases have been passed down through entire family trees, while others stand in museums telling us about the daily practices of long gone civilizations- I began working with painter Caterina Gabelli who was in charge of decorating with glazes the vases I made, in a dialogue between the arts and crafts.

3. Wounds

Porcelain is a material with memory. This means that no matter how many changes it undergoes, the initial transformations or interventions it is subjected to keep coming back, are indelible. With this thought in mind, the series Wounds is centred on the past as the lingering narrative around which those after are built. By cutting open the spaces where a crack showed up on each of these Wounds once they were dry, the margins between the outside and the inside of the piece are blurred and the options where to look at the object from are expanded. The hollowness of each piece is also exposed this way. The outer layer of this “totems of memory” becomes the skin that covers what is hidden from our eyes and the incisions - or wounds - made on the surface allows us to see the space within.

4. Eel Soup

Imagine an eel soup: a wriggling mass of creatures whose ends and beginnings can be swapped in the human eye, trapped in a limited space, their bodies entangled below the surface or floating on top of it, half submerged in the liquid that now holds them. Like the visible bits of the viscous animals you have just pictured, the objects I present here are fragments of an ephemeral reality. In a collaboration with photographer Federico Clavarino, by carefully observing spaces and body parts as they twist, press, open, close, bend and touch, photography and ceramic have become our means to reinterpret a series of meaningful connections. The resulting series of reconfigurations ultimately tells a story of coexistence, one that is largely built around the lingering images left behind by otherwise vanishing intersections.

5. Shows

The Crab’s House Installation pt 3, with Federico Clavarino (SIC Space with the support of Art Futures Amsterdam, June 2023)

The Crab’s House Installation pt 2, with Federico Clavarino (Ville Empain, March 2023)

The Crab’s House Installation pt 1, with Federico Clavarino (Stiftung Kunstlerdorf Schöppingen, November 2022)

Bezoar + Wounds @ Miart with Viasaterna + Federico Clavarino, September 2021

Wounds @ Artissima, November 2020 

Commission of sculptures for Ghost Stories by Federico Clavarino @ Contretype, December 2020

ph. Regular Studio

Eel Soup @ Viasaterna, December 2019

Eel Soup @ Fotofestiwal, 2018

6. Bio

Tami Izko (Cochabamba, 1984)

Tami is a Spanish-Bolivian artist. Her practice is rooted on her autobioraphy, with a long history of migrations where identity and belonging become the central themes of her work. Her most recent projects focus on connections between memory, trauma and transformation (Wounds, 2020) and on the mechanisms behind magical thinking and binary systems (Bezoar, 2021-ongoing). In addition to her individual research, in 2018 she started an ongoing collaboration with photographer Federico Clavarino in which sculpture and photography are used from different angles to explore issues such as intimacy, coexistence and belonging. Some of these joint projects include Eel Soup (2017), Via Spaventa (2021) and The Crab’s House (2022-ongoing). In 2023, her site-specific intervention Inventory became the tenth permanent artwork at Fondazione La Raia, in Gavi.



2023, The Crab’s House (pt 3) with Federico Clavarino, SIC Athens

2023, The Crab’s House (pt 2) with Federico Clavarino, Ville Empain

2022, The Crab’s House (pt 1) with Federico Clavarino, Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen 

2022, Via Spaventa, Espace Brockmann and Fondation Bruckner, Gevena

2019, Eel Soup, Viasaterna Gallery, Milan (double solo show with Federico Clavarino)

2018, Eel Soup, Pinguin, Bruxelles (double solo show with Federico Clavarino)


November 2022, The Harvest, Stiftung Künstlerdorf, Schöppingen

December 2020, Gradi di Vuoto, Viasaterna Gallery, Milan

October 2020, Artissima Unplugged with Viasaterna Gallery, Turin

September 2019, Auto Fiction, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London

September 2019, Kiraathane at Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul

2019, Grand Prix, Fotofestiwal Lódz

Workshops & Teaching

Visiting Lecturer, Academy of Fine Arts, Athens, 2023

Studio Orlando, Milan, 2019-2022

Visiting Lecturer, University of Roehampton, London, 2019

Member, Clay Garden, London 2019-2020

Member, Turning Earth, London 2018-2019

Member, Caulino Atelier, Lisbon, 2017-2019

Residencies / Fellowships

Art Futures Fellowship
May-June 2023, Athens

Boghossian Foundation artist in residence / February - April 2023, Brussels

Stiftung Künstlerdorf artist in residence / August - November 2022, Schöppingen


Mousse Magazine
Lampoon Magazine
La Reppublica

Eel Soup: 
Ignant Magazine
Nearest Truth podcast


Eel Soup, with Federico Clavarino. 
Published by Witty Books in June, 2022.

30 future sculptures, 3 missing drawings. Self-Published in Leipzig in November, 2022. 

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