TAMI IZKO











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 a thing made of ingested elements that had no nutritional value, and which had not been expelled because they had failed to take part in a binary system in which only the useful and the useless are accepted? Their reaction was clear and relied on the impulse to give sacred attributes to that which we cannot understand: it was to be treated as an amulet with special properties, particularly those of counteracting poison, or therefore, a potential cause of death. And that is how bezoars came to be known as antidotes.

The extraordinary, in this case, instead of being interpreted as something dangerous,  threatening or a failure is regarded as magical. In the process of making ceramics certain elements are discarded, lost or transformed and in the end we are left with a new form. There are commonly accepted methods of working with clay and glazes, but there are also several paths that go beyond the right or wrong ways of making. The pieces that do not follow this binary convention mirror, in a way, those undigested and rare bezoars. 







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



Separation leaves a trace, a mark, a scar, or an open wound. Think of two things ripped from one another. Trauma can be understood as a wound itself, a hurt, a defeat. Change, in turn, can have traumatic consequences as painful as some wounds. Pain is a complex, biopsychosocial phenomenon that has sensory and affective components, as well as a cognitive element that is reflected in the anticipation of future harm.

So pain is memory too.

These pieces - which are fragments motivated by the trace left from separations, and the wounds attached to such events - are totems of traumatic memory. In the roundness a face might be perceived, or perhaps a mask, the “sculptures full of holes” as Charles Ray describes them. In theatre masks had holes in the nostrils so actors could see where they were walking across the stage. In this project, this idea is interpreted as if we would be seeing reality through wounds – as if our wounds were our eyes.
 




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

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


Exhibitions

Solo

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

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

Group

2020-2021, Gradi di Vuoto, Viasaterna Gallery, Milan

2020, Artissima Unplugged with Viasaterna Gallery, Turin

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

2019, Kiraathane at Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul

2019, Grand Prix, Fotofestiwal Lódz

Workspace

2020-2021, Studio Orlando, Milan

2020, Member, The Clay Garden, London

2019, Member, Turning Earth, London

2016-2019, Handbuilding techniques, glazing and firing, Caulino Atelier, Lisbon


Press

Ignant Magazine

C41 Magazine
ATP Diary
Espoarte
Vogue PL
Repubblica
Contemporary Lynx








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