Katya Izabel Filmus, "Painkillers", a Closer Look and a Correction
Here's a closer look at Painkillers, a piece by Katya Filmus, in the artist's own words:
The artwork ‘Pain Killers’ consists of 8 kiln cast glass capsules that sit into routed slots in the plinth which is suggestive of a pill case. Each capsule is composed of two interlocked components, one clear and the other coloured. They combine to create a complete and considered interior form which defines negative space as a container and integrates with the exterior image – the pill. Each pill contains and utilizes traces of human memory and explores its relationship to the amount of space it occupies and displaces. My personal identity number and blood chemical analysis are written on the plinth. The finished piece explores image in conjunction with form; light in relation to shape; positive forms in relation to negative forms; definition of negative space by its surroundings; presence and absence; tangibility with memory. All these issues are derivates of the main subject this work explores; the notion and definition of individual identity and its connection to memory.
‘Pain Killers’ was conceived in 2009 following my immigration to the UK. This piece attempts to break apart the notion of identity in order to explore what constitutes individual identity. My identity number defines me as an Israeli citizen; olive tree twigs from my home country and roots from Argentina (my parents birthplace ) represent my autobiographical memory; samples of my hand writing represent my muscles and sensory memory; cremated body ash; hair; fingernails and blood chemical analysis represent the memory of our DNA. These all contribute to create a unique portrait of an individual -almost from a forensic point of view. Inspiration for the use of pills was triggered by an article 'Pills to Make You Smarter' in Scientific American (Stix, 2009), and is a comment about how society attempts to 'mould' our behaviour, personality, thoughts and beliefs as opposed to enhancing our unique and individual identities.
Writing a book like CAST involved 6,500 years of history, 400+ contributors, 803 images, countless drafts, and many edits. In this case, the final copy in the book did not please the artist. The next edition will be corrected to more closely reflect her artist's statement, shown above.