Tamara Kostianovsky: Actus Reus

 Image: Tamara Kostianovsky, Bound, curtains and articles of clothing belonging to the artist, steel, meat hooks, chains, 2007 /  ©Tamara Kostianovsky

Image: Tamara Kostianovsky, Bound, curtains and articles of clothing belonging to the artist, steel, meat hooks, chains, 2007 / ©Tamara Kostianovsky

Press Release / April 17 - May, 2008

BLACK & WHITE GALLERY // Chelsea is proud to present Actus Reus by Tamara Kostianovsky. In her solo debut exhibition, Tamara Kostianovsky extends the cold human gaze to killing. Methodically dissected beef carcasses made out of discarded human clothes are both ethically and aesthetically disturbing. The intense reality of the opened body cannot stop the humans from looking at the killed animal. The looker is not the killer, and some of the power in the relationship therefore lies with the looked-at thing, dead though it is.

Tamara Kostianovsky is a native of Israel. She was raised in Argentina and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA degree from Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1998) and an MFA degree from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2003). Kostianovsky is a recipient of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant and was the finalist for Pew Fellowships in the Arts. 

*The actus reus — sometimes called the external elements of a crime — is the Latin term for the "guilty act" which, when proved beyond a reasonable doubt in combination with the mens rea i.e., the "guilty mind", produces criminal liability in common law-based criminal law jurisdictions.