Octopus 16: Antiques Roadshow
Event Title: Octopus 16: Antiques Roadshow
Artists: Justin Balmain (Sydney); Petra Cortright (Los Angeles);Michael Staniak (Melbourne) Simon Denny (Berlin); Heath Franco (Sydney); Greatest Hits (Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer & Simon McGlinn / Melbourne); Ying Miao (Beijing); Amalia Ulman (Los Angeles / London / Gijón)
Site Location: Gertrude Contemporary, 200 Gertrude Street
Date: Friday 15 July 2016, 6pm – 8pm & Friday 22 July 2016, 6pm – 8pm
The Octopus series of exhibitions is one of Gertrude Contemporary’s flagship annual exhibitions, initiated in 2001. The 16th edition titled, Antiques Roadshow, assembles a selection of Australian and international artists whose works focus upon the phenomena, the integration, and the ramifications of developing technologies, ranging from their use as a pervasive tool for surveillance, their potential in creating and expanding social networks, as well as noting a nostalgia for recent obsolescent technologies.
This exhibition adopts its title from the long-running BBC television series of the same name as a means to consider how value and historical importance might be considered within the present moment, but also references the popular term used within the 1990s to refer to early digital communications, the Information Superhighway.
Rather than operating as a critique of the advancing digitisation of our lives, this project looks at strategies being adopted by a selection of artists as to how these advances might be co-opted and integrated within their creative practices. The assembled works do not approach the internet as a new phenomenon, a new media, or indeed as something necessarily distinct from real life. The selection of artists draws from a generation who have grown up with these technologies, and are increasingly dependent upon them. Rather than rendering itself instantly redundant, Antiques Roadshow acknowledges and anticipates its own obsolescence, being of and in this time, in full acknowledgement of the acceleration of change. It incorporates nostalgia with a sense of certainty as well as elements of humour, rather than longing to capture this moment as it passes and is superseded. What more can contemporary art do but to understand the continuum of something more contemporary to come after it?
Octopus 16: Antiques Roadshow is open until 8pm on Friday 15 July and Friday 22 July during the Gertrude Street Projection Festival.
The Octopus exhibition series is generously supported by Proclaim.
Curated by Mark Feary, Artistic Director, Gertrude Contemporary.