Hope Dies Last: Art at the End of Optimism is a curated exhibition of Australian and international contemporary art presented across two sites, Gertrude Contemporary and the Margaret Lawrence Gallery. The project focuses on how artists consider the depletion of optimism, how they might envisage the end of days, and how they make sense of these tumultuous times. The project brings together works by leading Australian and international artists, as if to choreograph a collective swan song of lament.
Exploring themes of mortality, fatalism, extinction, pain (both emotional and physical), failure and downfall, the works largely focus on the specific moment when hope evaporates for the final time. Explored with compassion, humour, sadness and resignation, Hope Dies Last confronts our individual and collective anxieties around death, reminding us that we will all destined for this certainty, yet each of us will experience that moment alone. Hope Dies Last will be one of the most depressing events of the year, an exhibition that will riddle us with sadness, and likely leave us more pessimistic than we have ever been before.
Margaret Lawrence Gallery, 18 October – 16 November
Mutlu Çerkez, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Chicks on Speed, Tony Garifalakis, Nell, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Walid Raad / The Atlas Group and Myuran Sukumaran.
Gertrude Contemporary, 5 October – 9 November
Vernon Ah Kee, The Escape from Woomera Collective, Tony Garifalakis, Eric Jong, Andrew Liversidge, Todd McMillan, Tracey Moffatt, Nell, Sanja Pahoki, Alex Seton, Grant Stevens and Myuran Sukumaran.