Hope Dies Last: Art at the End of Optimism was curated by Gertrude Contemporary Artistic Director Mark Feary.
Hope Dies Last: Art at the End of Optimism was a curated exhibition of Australian and international contemporary art presented across two sites, Gertrude Contemporary and the Margaret Lawrence Gallery at the Victorian College of the Arts. The project focused on how artists consider the depletion of optimism, how they might envisage the end of days, and how they make sense of these tumultuous times. Exploring themes of mortality, fatalism, extinction, pain (both emotional and physical), failure and downfall, the works largely focused on the specific moment when hope evaporates for the final time. Explored with compassion, humour, sadness and resignation, Hope Dies Last confronted our individual and collective anxieties around death, reminding us of the certainty of this fate, yet recognising this conclusionary moment as one we will experience alone. Hope Dies Last will be one of the most depressing events of the year, an exhibition that will riddle us with sadness, and likely leave us more pessimistic than we have ever been before.