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Octopus 22: Baroquetopus

(Humanimal entanglements and tentacular spectaculars)

Curated by Tessa Laird

Installation view of Octopus 22: Baroquetopus curated by Tessa Laird, featuring work by Gina Bundle and Kate Rohde, presented at Gertrude Contemporary 2022. Photo: Christian Capurro.

9 April -
5 June 2022

Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street, Preston South

Exhibition opening: Friday 8 April, 6 - 8pm

Initiated in 2001, the Octopus series of exhibitions supports ambitious curatorial practice, through engaging an invited curator annually to develop a project that draws upon their research interests and provides a platform for new forms of exhibition making. Gertrude is pleased to announce the twenty-second exhibition in our annual Octopus series. Octopus 22 is curated by Tessa Laird, artist, writer and Lecturer in Critical and Theoretical Studies at the School of Art, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.

Laird's exhibition is playfully titled Octopus 22: Baroquetopus (Humanimal entanglements and tentacular spectaculars). Baroquetopus is a neologism uniting human aesthetic languages with the natural world, affirming the continuum of culture in nature, and nature in culture. Just as the Baroque period was one of sensory overload, this exhibition features artworks that activate the senses, as well as immersive visual elements that transform the gallery and foyer spaces of Gertrude Contemporary into a vibrant ecology, fostering sensory, aesthetic, and ethical entanglements.

Download the exhibition roomsheet here. 


  • Baluk Arts
  • Gina Bundle
  • Ivor Cantrill
  • Debris Facility Pty Ltd
  • Lichen Kelp
  • Ani O'Neill
  • Kate Rohde
  • Peter Waples-Crowe
  • Sebastian Wiedemann
Public Program

Artist Talk, Film Screening and Performance

Octopus 22: Baroquetopus 

(Humanimal entanglements and tentacular spectaculars)

Artist TalkSaturday 14 May, 5amGertrude Contemporary

Octopus 22: Baroquetopus artist talk, film screening and performance

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Baroquetopus: Humanimal entanglements and tentacular spectaculars

Baroquetopus is a portmanteau – a chimerical word made of an interspecies, trans-categoric coupling: Baroque + Octopus. What happens when you hybridise a historical European art movement with a mollusc, and why would you?

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The Octopus exhibition series is generously supported by Proclaim.

Octopus 22: Baroquetopus is supported by the City of Darebin, the Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at the University of Melbourne, and Baluk Arts. 

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Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm