Exhibitions | Exhibitions To the North

Tamara Kostianovsky: Mezmerizing Flesh at Ogden Contemporary Arts

Feb. 3rd — Apr. 16
Art Talk with Artist: Feb. 2nd

Ogden Contemporary Arts
455 25th St, Ogden, UT 84401


Mon & Tues: Closed
Wed – Sat: 10AM–6PM
Sunday: 11AM–4PM


Ogden Contemporary Arts presents an exhibition for globally recognized textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky, which will be centered around a kinetic installation featuring the artist’s life-size animal carcass sculptures. Made from floral fabric and discarded textiles, Kostianovsky’s sculpture transforms symbols of carnage into visions of regeneration and rebirth, as exotic birds and vegetation emerge from forms akin to hanging meat. Kostianovsky’s work for the exhibition touches on strong central themes including violence against humans and animals, consumer culture, and environmental devastation. “Mesmerizing Flesh” opens on Friday, February 3rd with a public reception from 6-9pm, and will remain on display through April 16th. An artist talk will be held at Weber State University on February 2nd.

Kostianovsky’s main kinetic installation is a site-specific collaboration with OCA and is the first time her work has been displayed in this manner – on a ceiling-mounted moving track. “I have played around with the idea of kinetic elements before but never on this scale or with this intention and production behind it,” says the artist. Five new sculptures from Kostianovsky’s Tropical Abattoir series will move through the gallery in a continuous loop, reminiscent of a conveyer belt in a meat processing plant. While unsettling in their anatomy, the carcasses themselves are far from gruesome with the bright tropical presence of Central American landscapes – particularly the artist’s home country of Argentina, where beef production plays a major role in the local culture.

In the same space on the east wall, Kostianovsky presents a second installation featuring her Actus Reus series, which she has been evolving for the past ten years. These sculptures are more direct representations of hanging meat and are made from the artist’s own discarded clothing. In using fabric reminiscent of a woman’s wardrobe, Kostianovsky references gender-based violence and violation of the female body, particularly during times of dictatorship in her Argentinian upbringing.

Kostianovsky’s overarching use of discarded fabric is also a commentary on the negative effects the fast fashion industry has on our environment. Her third series represented in this show, Nature Made Flesh, continues this thread of environmental concern as the artist imagines a world made from the remnants of consumer culture. Tree stumps and abandoned logs are symbols of devastation, yet are made with alluring colored fabric that offers a utopian feel and inspires a more sustainable future.

Kostianovsky first exhibited her work at OCA as part of the group exhibition Vida, Muerte, Justicia: Life, Death, Justice last Fall. When invited to return for a solo exhibition, Kostianovsky already felt a kinship with the organization and its commitment to more daring exhibitions that tackle issues of social justice and political relevance. “OCA isn’t shying away from exhibiting controversial work,” she says. “I really appreciate that there is no fear, and that we’re going all in with this show. I’m also super excited and grateful for the opportunity to finally bring the vision of a kinetic installation to fruition with such receptive staff, whose enthusiasm is really appreciated.”

Executive Director Venessa Castagnoli, who spearheaded the exhibit, is equally excited for Kostianovsky’s return to Ogden. “Tamara’s exhibition fulfils OCA’s mission of bringing culturally diverse and internationally relevant art to Ogden,” she says. “Her work is accessible to the general public yet thought-provoking and intentional in its concepts. We hope to reach a local audience here similar to that of Vida, Muerte, Justicia and continue to expand our organization’s cultural reach in the region.”


Tamara Kostianovsky was born in 1974 in Jerusalem, Israel and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the National School of Fine Arts “Prilidiano Pueyrredón” in Buenos Aires (1998), and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2003).


Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio, NY (2007 and 2019); The Jewish Museum NY (2009); Bienal Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019); Musee du Textile et de la Mode, Cholet, France (2021); Children’s Museum of Manhattan, NY (2020); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY (2021); Fuller Craft Museum, Boston (2021); Slag Gallery (2009 and 2021); Y Gallery, NY (2017); RX Gallery, Paris, France (2021); Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI (2015), and many others.


The artist has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2010), the New York Foundation for the Arts (2009), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2012, 2008), and Yaddo (2021).


Work by the artist is included in the collection of El Museo del Barrio, NY and in numerous private collections in the United States, Canada and in Europe. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


Tamara Kostianovsky is represented by Slag Gallery, NY.

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