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“Visceral” encapsulates the profound, gut-level impact of the artwork created by both Izzie Beirne and K.T. Kobel. Their works bypass the cerebral, engaging directly with the body’s instinctual responses. This quality is crucial in their exploration of trauma, healing, and the human condition, as it captures the raw, unmediated reactions that such deep, personal experiences provoke.
In Beirne’s art, the visceral response is evoked through the tangible manipulation of materials and subjects that stand in for the body and its traumas. The act of crushing and tearing into food, with juices flowing and textures breaking apart, mirrors the violence inflicted upon the body and psyche. This physicality is not just seen but felt by the viewer, eliciting a bodily empathy that connects on a primal level. The presence of frenzied hands over opulent yet broken scenes further intensifies this response, embodying the chaos and intrusion of violence.
Kobel’s recent work diverges into an exploration of suspended moments in time, captured with a cinematic perspective that encapsulates narratives at a temporal juncture—an elusive before and after within an in-between moment. These scenes, positioned as memories on the brink of recall, unfold center stage, elevated as if on a pedestal, blurring the lines between reality and imagination. The theatricality introduced by framing theatre curtains adds a layer of complexity, casting doubt on the authenticity of the depicted scenes while proposing an alternative narrative. This element serves as a protective sheath, shielding the viewer from the rawness behind the scenarios, be they violent and jagged or sensual and clandestine. Kobel’s intervention, thus, becomes a barrier preventing the full emergence of the recalled memory, engaging the viewer on a visceral level through this inscrutable veil.
The visceral quality of both artists’ work thus serves as a bridge, connecting the external, visual experience with the internal, emotional one. It demands an immediate, physical reaction, bypassing rational barriers and engaging viewers in a deeply personal dialogue with the art. This connection is not passive; it’s an active, dynamic process that mirrors the messiness, the pain, and ultimately, the cathartic potential of confronting and processing trauma.
Through their distinct but complementary approaches, Beirne and Kobel create spaces where the visceral becomes a channel for empathy, understanding, and healing. Their art does not shy away from the discomfort of these deep, unsettling emotions. Instead, it embraces the visceral as a powerful tool for communication and transformation, inviting viewers to feel, to empathize, and to reflect on the complex layers of human experience.



Izzie Berine - K.T. Kobel

Plan X Milan
22 March - 16 April 2024

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