On a winter day in an eastern Polish village, three-year-old Izabela Tarasewicz built a fire for her friends in the family barn. It burnt the entire shelter to the ground, melting her father’s motorcycle collection and scorching all of the food supplies for the season.
Everyday as a child, Iza would observe her parents and grandparents build something from nothing and share it with their neighbours. It was deep communism politically, but also because of necessity.
When Iza’s father died in her arms, she quit studying physiotherapy, and started thinking about abstraction.
When Iza cut the umbilical cord of her niece, she closed a loop.
After studying sculpture for a number of years, Iza’s teacher had a simple suggestion: use materials and processes that you know. She thought of her grandmother.
At the opening of an early exhibition, Iza climbed onto her large sculpture to demonstrate how stable she had built it. She fell on her ass, permanently injuring her lower vertebrae. And then she woke up.
While at an artist residency in Georgia, the external bathroom building caught on fire. Unable to contain the flames, Iza’s host and friends took out their fishing poles and they all went fishing. When Iza visited San Francisco, a colleague gave her two options: meet with a curator who would show her fine dining, or meet up with another who would bring her to tranny bars and nightclubs. She chose the latter, and then married him.
At an Umbanda session in Brazil, an Orixa instructed Iza to eat her mom. She did
Iza Tarasewicz (b. 1981 in Białystok) graduated from the Faculty of Sculpture and Performing Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań in 2008. She lives and works in Kolonia Koplany, a small village near Białystok where she was raised. Working in sculpture, installation, drawing, and performance, her work has garnered significant acclaim both at home and abroad. She was the winner of the 2019 Bayerischen Kunstförderpreise in Fine Arts and the winner of the VIEWS [Spojrzenia] 2015 Deutsche Bank Foundation Award, the premiere prize for young art in Poland, co-organized with Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw. In 2013, she was a nominee for the Passportu Polityki Award for Visual Arts. In 2016 she participated in the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, and the 11th Gwangju Biennale, and in 2018 she represented Poland at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale in collaboration with Centrala. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, at such venues as Pori Art Museum, Finland (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2018), Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2018), KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn (2017), Galeria Arsenał, Białystok (2017), Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid (2017), Futura, Prague (2016), European Central Bank, Frankfurt (2016), CCA Toruń (2016), Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2015), Kunsthalle Bratislava (2015), Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena (2015), Polnisches Institut Berlin (2014), Krolikarnia X. Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture, Warsaw (2013), amongst many others. Her monumental installation Once Information Has Passed Into Protein is on semi-permanent display at the Museum of Fine Art Leipzig, commissioned by Art Collection Telekom. Her works are currently featured in the group exhibitions Keeping the Balance (Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest) and One Swallow Does Not Make A Summer (Kunsthaus Dresden). In November 2020, she will participate in the NARRATIVES 12 festival in the Wrzeszcz district in Gdansk, and the group exhibition Sculpture in Search of a Place at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.