Cover image of the review
NAP Contemporary (Bathroom) courtesy of Spring1883. Photo Simon Strong

Spring1883 Art Fair by Giles Fielke

13 Aug 2023
CAVES, NAP Contemporary, Murray White Room 10 Aug - 12 Aug 2023

It is Spring, but it is not yet spring. In my street, the jasmine was flowering in July. So what? You can either let climate crisis get you down or you can party like it’s 1300. Entering Caves’s suite, I meet gallery director, Storm Gold. European seasons don’t make sense here anyway. Gold is wearing a trucker hat that suggests he belongs to “Western Hydrodynamic Research.” On the double bed of the Windsor Hotel room is a set of tails, hair arranged by one exhibiting artist, Noriko Nakamura. Gold is in the midst of explaining to a guest that Caves was named for the earliest examples of a known art gallery, perhaps Chauvet, but also perhaps Madjedbebe.

Noriko Nakamura, Emptiness II, 2022, artist’s hair, limestone, silk, Japanese washi paper, dimensions variable (limestone sculpture size: 46cm x 53cm x 34cm). Courtesy Caves Gallery.

In NAP Contemporary’s room, co-director Riley Davison is looking for a phone charger. I attempt to continue a meandering email thread about the artist Tim Burns in person. I am not here to buy any artworks, so maybe I shouldn’t make small talk. The one I would buy, if I was in the market, would be from this suite, however. Scott Redford’s electric resin and fibreglass work, Rothko Surf Painting (2017) is a standout for my money. It’s like an alien object John McCracken found out the back of surf coast shaper’s stockroom. Perhaps it’s the obelisk from 2001. Here, its glossy body is resting up against the mirror in the bathroom, like a naughty boy blagging a line while talking about how great the offsite show with the stolen Lutz Bacher sculpture. This toilet is the space reserved for the only best ware, the most intimate and exclusive artwork commodities (the closer you can get art to human shit the better).

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