Via Spaventa (with Federico Clavarino) // reimagining a street through sculpture and photography

On show until October 30, 2022 at Espace Jörg, Geneva, supported by the Fondation Bruckner

w(ork)i(n)p(rogress) / pictorial objects

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 it had failed to take part in a system. The decision was to treat it as an amulet with special properties, particularly those of counteracting poison. And that is how bezoars came to be known as antidotes

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”. 

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 power of the past as the lingering narrative around which those after are built. By cutting open the spaces in which a crack showed up on each of these Wounds once they were dry, the margins between the outside and the inside of the piece have been blurred and the options of where to look at the object from are expanded. There is also an intention of exposing the hollowness
of each piece, and highlighting the outer layer as either the walls of these “totems of memory” or the skin that covers that which is hidden from our eyes and which is only made visible through the incisions made on the material, which are the windows (and the wounds) of the pieces.


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

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 ceramist and sculptor. After getting a degree in film-making in Buenos Aires and journalism in Madrid, she studied pottery while living in Lisbon, where she learnt the practice from local artisans. 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, Via Spaventa and The Crab’s House. Her work has been exhibited internationally and her most recent individual projects focus on connections between memory, trauma and resilience (Wounds, 2020-ongoing) and on the mechanisms behind magical thinking and binary systems (Bezoar, 2021-ongoing).



2022 (upcoming), 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)


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

Workshops & Teaching

Studio Orlando, handbuilding and glazing workshops, Milan 2019-2022

Member, The Clay Garden, London 2019-2010

Visiting Lecturer, University of Roehampton 2019

Member, Turning Earth, London 2017-2019

Ceramic design, glazing and firing, Caulino Atelier, Lisbon


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

Boghossian Foundation artist in residence / February 2023, Brussels

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