(ARUCAD Faculty of Arts 3rd Year Student)
Turan Aksoy’s All the Demons exhibitiostarts off in a whimsical way, contrary to its name. We are greeted with eye-catching spray paint works as well as a collection of collages called “Desktop Sketches” which instantly grab attention with amusing depictions. However, as the exhibition goes on, the mood of the art seems to shift. The witty theme continues, but there are artworks in between them that captivate the audience with their darker undertone.
Throughout the gallery, Turan Aksoy seems to the dealing with the theme of sexuality. A striking example of this can be seen in the oil painting Object-Woman, where a figure is depicted with helpless body language, a dark mass suffocating
their space from above. The objectification of women and their sexuality is a reoccurring theme, but not all of them are as direct as this painting. Another perspective of this theme is the obvious sexuality of men. There were quite a few examples of enlarged male sexual organs, but what felt more distinct in this sense to me was a painting of a gun made of skin and to be representing genitalia. I found the association of guns and men to be a powerful message of aggressiveness, in contrast with the more saddened portrayal of women.
Despite that, the exhibition also follows a more welcomed outlook on women’s sexuality. Genitalia is displayed in different formats, representations, and media throughout the exhibition. Although in current times we are more used to seeing uncensored sexuality, Turan Aksoy makes this a much more refreshing journey. Sexuality is represented openly, unfiltered, and casually. There was a pleasant lack of forced eroticism, with the art displaying the natural human body, as it is. In media, we are more used to seeing the naked body in an alluring way, together with how much we see it, it almost feels fake and non-genuine. But it is not the case in this exhibition, in which the human body is represented with a sense of humbleness.
This is slightly contradicted by the many digital prints displayed. They were abstract representations of associated topics, but mainly around sexuality. The darker tones used in the artworks, and the darkened room they were displayed in might have represented them in a more suggestive way, however, like the rest of the exhibition, they kept the feeling of authenticity.
Although the name of the exhibition initially suggests that “All the Demons” might be the topic of men, women, and sexuality, I thought it represented the way society perceives these topics. It is not the human body or what we do with it that is disturbing or unethical, it is the way we look at it. Or perhaps what distresses us are the “frowned upon” feelings awakened due to sexuality, such as lust, jealously, greed and obsession. Either way, in the end, vaginas, and penises are just parts of the human body, and the demonization of them is done by the conformity of society. The exhibition bravely questions the opinion and perspective of modern people and the human mind.