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By Lucy McNabb
June 30, 2017

You're My Number 1

A discovered stash of fan mail inspires an intriguing group show three years later.
By Lucy McNabb
June 30, 2017

Another tempting group show from Firstdraft, who've been hitting it out of the park lately. You're My Number 1 examines celebrity, fandom and popular culture, drawing together a diverse group of contemporary artists from Thailand, New Zealand and Australia including Zoe Wong, Raquel Caballero, D.A.N.C.E Art Club and Low Cost Cosplay group.

The inspiration behind the show is a bit of a strange story. Back in 2014, shortly after joining Gaffa Gallery, curator Talia Smith was cleaning out an office when she stumbled across a stash of fan letters written by various men to tennis star Pat Cash (it turns out Gaffa's address was once listed in a celebrity fan club address book). As she replied to them all one by one, Smith found herself unexpectedly moved by their earnest admiration and heartfelt confessions: "I became semi-obsessed with these letters and the men that wrote them: what drove them to send a hand-written letter detailing their lives and personal stories…to an ageing ex-tennis pro?"

Three years later Smith is curating an exhibition that investigates our relationships — real or imagined — with our idols, and exactly what strange, inexplicable human compulsions drive us towards fandom. A must-see.

Image: Zoe Wong, 'Uncle Jackie' (2017).

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