At first glance, the artworks of Tamara Turlyun are easy to comprehend. The set of tools the artist employs is somewhat limited, narrow. The red paint, close to the red ochre, is one of the primary painting pigments from ancient times. The rough white background serves as a simple lime plaster. Smooth generalised outlines, large strokes. The perspective is absent, and the composition is rigid. The characters and details are located freely, if not chaotically. Simultaneously, they are a bit cramped: the crude bodies are barely pressed into the surface of the glued sheets of coarse paper. The eye inadvertently carries on the action outlined by the artist beyond the paper, on the walls. Turlyun's works are closer to murals than to easel paintings. Paper as their basis seems to be a temporary technical solution. The series refers to the tradition of monumental art of the twentieth century with its tendency to massive and tentatively stylised forms. Concurrently, it alludes to ancient Indian temple frescoes with their ornamentation and eroticism. The mocking texts wrap the characters as an umbilical cord merely to confuse the possible interpretations of what "Turliun wants to tell us" in this exhibition.
A man and a woman are in the centre of the artworks. They are sort of timeless "Adam and Eve," the world culture's basic characters of all times and peoples of the gender-normative era. But, in the works of Turlyun, gender seems to be a deceptive category. Despite the illustrative, childishly graphic depiction of the genitals, the characters seem to be cast in the same mold. These almost identical, gently primitivised bodies and faces certainly do not entail stereotypical physiological roles and scenarios. Ultimately, a human is not an essential element of Turlyun's world. The ostentatious eroticism eventually appears as phantasmagoria. The inappropriate guests join the conventional duo of "he and she." This is the Pollinator, a ubiquitous flying insect that carries a threat and an obsessive affection but looks terribly comical. And here is the amorphophallus, "the giant of the plant world," an ugly and attractive flower that blooms every 10 years. Love is diverse.
Finally, Tamara's artworks are spectacular. They instantly get attention, take a breath away with their bizarreness. They excite and irritate with their provocation, disguised as frivolity. They do not speak but shout or laugh loudly. The scale and peculiarities of bold-line work on the rough surface of the paper, accompanied by the texts, resemble handmade banners. In particular, the aesthetics and rhetoric of so-called "monstrations," street rallies in which, instead of "serious" political and civic slogans, activists present satirical, deliberately meaningless words and symbols on their posters. They certify the right to any free expression outside the ideological standards. Turlyun's playful and picturesque "banners" transfer such logic to the realm of contemporary art. Indeed, the artists do not have to relentlessly wrap their practice in a tight cover of "great meanings." In the contemporary art system, with its occasional encouragement of too smoothly polished concepts, the categories of fantasy and dream are undeservedly neglected. We consider Tamara Turlyun's exhibition at The Naked Room as a one-person demonstration for the right to be recklessly free, witty, and eccentric in art. Well, at least, for the warm and stinky amorphophallus. Join us!