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Octopus 24: Ricochet
Curated by Patrice Sharkey

Octopus 24: Ricochet curated by Patrice Sharkey. Design by Tyrone Ormsby.
Octopus 24: Ricochet curated by Patrice Sharkey. Design by Tyrone Ormsby.

15 June -
4 August 2024

Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street, Preston South

Opening:
Friday 14 June, 6 – 8pm

We respectfully advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that this exhibition contains names, footage and voices of deceased persons. 

Since 2001, the annual Octopus exhibition series has supported ambitious curatorial practice, inviting a curator to develop a project informed by their current research and providing a platform for new forms of exhibition making. This year, Gertrude welcomes Patrice Sharkey, who has drawn upon her ongoing interest in revisionist histories and intergenerational exchange, alongside a sustained engagement with artists she encountered and collaborated with during her time as the Artistic Director of Adelaide Contemporary Experimental. 

Ricochet is an exhibition conceived to honour those who have reckoned—and continue to reckon—with the power of representation to influence our social and political lives. Forming the foundation of Ricochet are multidisciplinary visual artist Destiny Deacon (KuKu and Erub/Mer, b.1957), electronic music pioneer and performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti (b.1951), and social history photographer and gay rights activist William Yang (b.1943).

Each groundbreaking in their own right, these artists are united by a compelling, often subversive, ability to blend autobiography and performativity—whether examining the wide discrepancies between representations of Aboriginal people by the white Australian population and the reality of Aboriginal life (Deacon); channeling personal experiences in pornographic modeling and striptease (Tutti); or documenting Australia’s queer scene in the late 1970s and 1980s (Yang).

Select works by Deacon, Tutti, and Yang are presented in dialogue with new commissions by South Australia-based artists Chelsea Farquhar, Dominic Guerrera (Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri), and Truc Truong. In so doing, Ricochet recognises the work undertaken by these senior artists to broaden critical spaces around lived experience, thereby paving the way for a new generation to interrogate ideas of community, sexuality, activism and life as art.

It is with great sorrow that Gertrude and curator Patrice Sharkey respectfully acknowledge the recent passing of artist and political activist Destiny Deacon (Erub/Mer and K'ua K'ua), and the mourning and grief of Deacon's vast and loving communities.

All efforts and consultations have been made to ensure cultural protocols are followed in regard to the exhibition of works by the artist. Permissions are given by the artist's family and estate to exhibit works during this significant period of mourning.

We respectfully advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that this exhibition contains names, footage and voices of deceased persons. 

Artists

  • Destiny Deacon
  • Cosey Fanni Tutti
  • Chelsea Farquhar
  • Dominic Guerrera
  • Truc Truong
  • William Yang
Public Program
Cosey Fanni Tutti, Incognito (detail), 1979–2021, C-type print. Courtesy of the artist and cabinet, London.

Octopus 24: Ricochet
Curated by Patrice Sharkey

Artist TalkSaturday 15 June, 5amGertrude Contemporary

Join curator Patrice Sharkey and exhibiting artists at 3pm Saturday 15 June at Gertrude Contemporary for a discussion of the curatorial themes of Octopus 24: Ricochet

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Essay

This project is generously supported by the Government of South Australia through its funding body Arts South Australia. 

The Octopus exhibition series is generously supported by Proclaim.

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Gertrude Contemporary

Wurundjeri Country
21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

Wurundjeri Country
44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm