TAMI IZKO



ºcurrent

Via Spaventa (with Federico Clavarino)

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



ººw(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 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

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. Her work has been exhibited internationally and her most recent projects focus on connections between memory, trauma and resilience (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).  


Exhibitions

Solo

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)

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

Workshops & Teaching

Studio Orlando, Milan, 2019-2022

Visiting Lecturer, University of Roehampton, London, 2019

Member, Turning Earth, London 2018-2019

Ceramic design, glazing and firing, Caulino Atelier, Lisbon, 2017-2019

Residencies

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

Boghossian Foundation artist in residence / February 2023, Brussels

Publications

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









© 2021 TAMI IZKO     Email    Instagram    Webdesign by Gluqbar Studio