5 May -
10 June 2017
200 Gertrude Street200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Opening: Friday 5 May, 6–8pm
The End of Time. The Beginning of Time. marked the end of Gertrude Contemporary’s tenure at 200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, in the iconic and rambling building it has occupied since 1985, and signaled the dawning of the next phase of the organisation’s evolution. It is a tribute to the site, and the significant role that it has played in what Gertrude had become, ahead of taking this history, strong network of alumni and ever-expanding community with us to our new home.
The End of Time. The Beginning of Time. marked and paid tribute to the dense legacy of artistic production in the current building and the communities that have contributed to and formed around it. With over 300 artists having participated in the two-year studio program, and thousands of artists having contributed to the exhibition program, the prospect of developing an encyclopaedic exhibition was all but impossible. The End of Time. The Beginning of Time. was a homage to the site, extracting a limited selection of moments from Gertrude’s history to operate as signifiers of the past. These moments function as an imprecise collage of histories, collapsing time, piquing, layering and contaminating memory.
In instances, works presented in the gallery spaces were re-presented or restaged in their original position of exhibition. Drawing back to works created within the studio program from the mid 1980s, some of the works served as a historical tracing of what had been produced and presented in the space.
As one significant example, the work AND (2003) by Marco Fusinato and Mutlu Çerkez (pictured) featured in The End of Time. The Beginning of Time. Originally painted along the expanse of one of the long walls in the main gallery, the word AND functioned as a conduit between the single small works each artist respectively presented. In its reprisal, the work stood testament to both working together, but also the multiplicity and evolution of meaning, of something being many things. For this exhibition, the AND functioned as an armature upon which other works are hung, adding to the amassing of layers of history within the exhibition itself.
Select works in the exhibition directly reflected upon projects created specifically in and for the context of Gertrude, works that, in many ways, responded to and eventually served as documentation of the space before it was forever transformed. Elements from more expansive and ephemeral installations returned to the galleries, reinforcing the role the site, with all of its particular architectural elements and spatial configurations, has played in terms of integration within many of the works themselves. Other works in the exhibition made reference to the present situation of the organisation and its imminent move. The exhibition also presented a number of new works developed for this locational finale.
The End of Time. The Beginning of Time. was curated by Mark Feary, Artistic Director, Gertrude Contemporary.