Octopus 20: Future Anterior
Brook Andrews, Penny Byrne, Juan Davila, Marco Fusinato, Eugenia Lim and Paul Yore
Curated by Nik Papas

Opening | Friday 5 June, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 6 June - 26 July 2020

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. In 2020 Gertrude is delighted to be working with Nik Papas. Incorporating installation, sculpture, textiles, paintings, and performances, Octopus 20: Future Anterior is a major exhibition showcasing the relationship of artists to political engagement, through a focus on issues of sovereignty, security, and Australian border control.

This insight into the works of Australian artists takes as its starting point a key series of paintings, silkscreens, and works on paper by Juan Davila. Covering a span of nearly twenty years, this series of artworks speak of the desperation and hopelessness experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in Australian detention centres. Artists Brook Andrews, Penny Byrne, Marco Fusinato, Eugenia Lim and Paul Yore also explore how such events are made to register in the name of national security and public order. Taken together, these artists draw from personal or inherited experiences to provoke questions about the present social order and to reimagine artistic practice as a vehicle of protest, cultural activism, and advocacy. Future Anterior also includes films by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, whose practice offers testimony to the physical, phenomenal, and experiential facets of migrant politics, border control, and the detention of refugees.

Image Credit | Marco Fusinato, The Infinitive 3, 2015, white uv halftone ink on black aluminium