TAMI IZKO



︎Commute (2023-ongoing)





I see a face in the tube that I think I recognize. People avoid staring at each other and that’s how the commute goes.

But I think I see a face I know and I stare. The eyes on it look away. So the face ends up blurred in a sculpture wrapped in runny glaze. 


︎Inventory
 





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 sculptures (2022)

︎Via Spaventa (2021-2022)

 

For two years, photographer Federico Clavarino 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.



︎Bezoar (2020-ongoing)



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. They soon came to be known as infalible antidotes and made their way into  popular culture as magic stones.



The kiln, much like the stomach, has a central role in enabling the “mutations” bezoars go through. The end product of these transformations is then placed on a pedestal similar to those upon which the rarest of these stones now rest. It is perhaps the dialogue between the holding structure and the piece held that is at the centre of this research. Different kinds of clays interact in ways in which their material hierarchies are blurred.












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.



︎Wounds (2020-2022)











ph. Nicola Novello


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. The holes seen in these works follow the cracks that showed up when the pieces were dry, further exposing the “error” instead of trying to conceal it. 


︎Eel Soup (2018-2020)  






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.





︎Shows

Eel Soup @ Volvo Studios Milano, September 2023 (edible sculptures edition)








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, September 2021




Wounds @ Artissima, November 2020 





Eel Soup @ Viasaterna, December 2019



Eel Soup @ Fotofestiwal, June 2019







︎Bio

Tami Izko (Cochabamba, 1984)

Tami is a Spanish-Bolivian artist. Her practice is rooted in her autobiography, with a long history of migrations where identity and belonging become the central themes of her work. Focusing on the epidermal nature of clay to make forms that are sometimes abstract and sometimes figurative, in her work she uses sculpture as a way of familiarizing with the unfamiliar (Commute, 2023-ongoing), connecting memory and transfor- mation (Wounds, 2020) and dissecting the mechanisms behind magical thinking and binary systems (Bezoar, 2021-ongoing). She also collaborates with other artists - namely photographer Federico Clavarino - in joint projects, such as Eel Soup (2017, published as a book in 2022 by Witty Books), Via Spaventa (2021) and The Crab’s House (2022-ongoing). On May 2023, her site-specific intervention Inventory, commisioned by curator Ilaria Bonacossa, became the tenth permanent artwork at Fon- dazione La Raia, in Gavi.



Exhibitions

Solo

September 2033, Eel Soup (edible works), Volvo Studio, Milan 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group

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

Press

Inventory: 
Mousse Magazine
Lampoon Magazine
La Reppublica

Eel Soup: 
Ignant Magazine
Nearest Truth podcast

Publications

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. 









© 2021 TAMI IZKO     Email    Instagram    Webdesign by Gluqbar Studio