"Actus Reus" is the debut solo exhibition of Tamara Kostianovsky, an Israeli artist raised in Argentina and currently living in Brooklyn. The show consists of life-sized animal carcasses painstakingly reconstructed using second-hand clothing, which are all former pieces from the artist's actual wardrobe. The patchwork constructions adopt a remarkably grotesque quality, hanging from meat hooks in an antiseptic gallery space. The exhibition's Latin title translates roughly to "guilty act," which is a term used in court cases to signify criminal liability. This, coupled with the uncompromising appearance, effectively casts a harsh judgment on one of the more gruesome aspects of our animal-centric food service economy. (Click on the images for more detail.)
The exhibition builds on Kostianovsky's past work with corporeal elements. (Previously she made portraits and maps using the her own hair.) "Actus Reus" is also the second installment in a three-part series at Black and White Gallery in Chelsea. Dubbed "The Proper Animal," it features three successive solo exhibitions (by Kostianovsky along with Asja Jung and Julian Montague) that incorporate animal iconography to make ethical statements on human-animal interplay.