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).