Permanent Collection/

French Tropics

Tamara Kostianovsky, 2021

Artist: Tamara Kostianovsky
Medium: discarded textiles on wood
Dimensions: 48 x 64 x 8 in / 121.9 x 162.6 x 20.3 cm


Tamara Kostianovsky was born in Israel, grew up in Argentina, and currently lives in New York City. Using discarded textiles from clothing, furniture, and linens, she creates sculptures and installations that depict or evoke severed trees, slaughtered cattle, and exotic birds. These works were originally inspired by imagery she saw growing up in Argentina during the Military Junta, where the ubiquitous presence of carcasses in the markets of Buenos Aires became, in her mind, a surrogate for the State-sponsored violence dominant during that era. In her work, she blends this disturbing imagery with tableaux from the natural world, examining the destruction of both land and bodies, focusing on the image of “the wound” to connect personal and cultural trauma with the violence on the Earth’s landscape. Her use of discarded textiles evoke nostalgia as well as larger sociological, geopolitical, and ecological issues. Reusing clothes allows her to make visible the histories of slavery, garment workers, labor unions, and immigrants; it allows her to unmask how the technologies of mankind intertwine, often violently, with the raw materials of the Earth.

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