Cover image of the review
Mel Deerson and Briony Galligan,*Theatre curtain for heaven and hell*, 2018, velvet, polyester curtain. Photo: Jacqui Shelton.

Octopus 19: Ventriloquy

8 Jun 2019
Gertrude Contemporary 3 May - 20 Jul 2019

The 19th edition of Gertrude Contemporary’s Octopus series, curated by Joel Stern, centres on the generative theme of ventriloquy. The comic, the sinister, the vaudevillian, the carnivalesque, the macabre, the puppet master, the pathological, the perverse all strike me as the most immediate connotations.

It is no surprise, however, that the curatorial focus is sound. For years, Stern has demonstrated a tireless dedication to experimental sound art as co-director of Liquid Architecture (along with Danni Zuvela), a fact that also shows in both the exhibition’s extensive public program that stretches until July and the very scholarly explication of its ideas in a comprehensive media release.

In her The Age review on Sunday, Hannah Francis describes Liquid Architecture as an artist collective. Given that LA has every tier of government funding as well as several sizable local council grants, a forthcoming journal and a private giving program, I would be more inclined to call them an institution and do away with the penniless bohemian connotations.

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