Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality.
Tura Oliveira positions labor and desire as tools to access the divine, creating textiles that act as portals into a queer, sci-fi utopia informed by the anarchist utopias of Octavia Butler and Ursula K. LeGuin, and Latinx leftist art. I Saw God and She Wasn’t Made of Money transforms BRIC’s Project Room into a devotional space using embroidery, quilting, beading, and rug tufting. The blending of disparate materials into a patchworked whole serves as a metaphor for the Buddhist understanding of dependent origination, that our lives and consciousness do not exist on its own and are always interconnected.
Oliveira’s hand-dyed silk quilts are layered, mythological narratives that are influenced by and celebratory of the many forms of contemporary intentional communities: the radical action and aesthetics of Chile’s Arpilleristas; the world building narratives of queer Star Trek slash fiction zines; the subterranean temples at Damanhur. Influenced by Mexican muralism, Oliveira uses allegory as a narrative tool and embeds within her textiles stories of collective imagining, elasticizing our perception of our present, and the possibility of a future without the limiting borders and boundaries of colonialism and the binaries of heteronormativity.
Tura Oliveira is a 2020-21 recipient of the ArtFP, an open call for Brooklyn-based visual artists to exhibit at BRIC House.
CURATED BY JENNY GEROW
Known for her intricate textile-based work including quilting, embroidery, and rug tufting, as well as for her vibrant murals. She combines these media in immersive installations, such as in her 2021 exhibition at BRIC House, I Saw God and She Wasn’t Made of Money. Oliveira's work is rooted in queer theory and science fiction, especially the writings of Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin — sources that embrace the potential to collectively imagine a new cultural and social fabric. She has participated in group exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation, Brooklyn Brush Studios and the Space Heater Gallery, SPRING/BREAK, and the Museum of Arts and Design, all in NY. She has been awarded residencies at BRIC, the Museum of Arts and Design, Wave Hill, Ars Nova, A.I.R Gallery, and Governors Island, all in New York, NY; Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY. Oliveira received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently an MFA candidate at Yale.
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