Dreams of transcendence, escape from austerity, high-dopamine rebellion, the art of optimism, feel-good resistance, possible worlds and open doors, the ocean in a sunshower, bliss.
“Everything pays dividends except dreaming – dreaming softens you and makes you unfit for daily work,” wrote Louise Bourgeois. “It is difficult to be an artist and close the door to dreams.”
We complete the first season of Prototype with a grounded fantasy of artistic freedom. Hannah Brontë’s new work The Sweet Suits is inspired by the Italian saying “the sweetness of doing nothing.” How can artists have time to dream when they are busy just surviving? How can anyone imagine a new world when trapped in one of austerity?
Costumed in soft, bright, wearable art made by Brontë and surrounded by vivid tropical fruit in a dewey treescape, an artist called Eden transcends it all. Brontë asked Eden which colour and texture feels like bliss to him. “Baby pink, soft, the ocean in a sunshower,” he answered. Brontë looked at the conch shells in Rarotonga, Eden’s islands, and based the costume’s forms on the hug of their interior.
Released from ordinary life, Eden dances in absolute liberation, performing la dolce vita. In the luxury lies resilience. No burdens, no deadlines, no anxieties. No buildings. More time, more slowness.
In that vision of nature and abundance, Brontë has created a paradise in which we’re all welcome to stay. Can you see yourself there? Is this what things could really be like? To dream of something, and build it with others who share your convictions? To run toward your values, toward a place that you can really make for yourself?
Thank you for being here to open the door to the first season of Prototype. See you in your inbox next year.
Yours, Lauren Carroll Harris
(Prototype curator and editor)
About Hannah Brontë
Having most recently exhibited in The National at the Museum of Contemporary Art (2019), Hannah Brontë makes music-driven installation, video art and DJ nights across Australia.
The Sweet Suits is part of