Cover image of the review
Dean Cross, Sad State (1962-2022) in Octopus 23: THE FIELD, curated by Tamsen Hopkinson. Presented at Gertrude Contemporary, 2023. Photo: Christian Capurro

Octopus 23: The Field

3 Jun 2023
Gertrude Contemporary 15 Apr - 11 Jun 2023

Entering Gertrude Contemporary, I am told by a member of the gallery’s staff that Nicola Blumenthal’s Silver Objects (2023) saw ten iterations before opening day. Ten iterations. I’m sorry you missed it, she tells me. I look up: the quiet menace of Ming Ranginui’s slay Belle (2022), a playfully violent axe-as-bow fashioned from satin, hangs above us, waiting to determine what might be eviscerated and what might be kept.

A unit of measurement: this is The Field’s curatorial framework. Or part of it. (A demarcation, which is another unit of measurement.) I’ve probably written and rewritten this opening ten times. (Which opening? Is this still the opening? Here? This? How might I tell you about those other openings? In one, I would have told you about the woman who very kindly explained and clarified the exhibition to me. How would I have described her? Too late; I’ve already said she was very kind.)

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