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Hotel Hotel Thursday 0:40 AM

A curious mind

A walk about with Nectar Efkarpidis, Hotel Hotel’s cofounder and co-curator, will inevitably find you wandering down alleyways, through bookshops, flea markets, second hand shops and artists’ studios… Nectar is a lifelong collector; from seashells, amateur ceramics, shaped objects (collected for nothing more than their colour); to more rarefied items.

Sniffing out the “good stuff” to him is an irrepressible reflex.

It’s good fun trotting about the world looking at the wonderful things that people make and amass until you find yourself in tow in Mumbai with mad Delhi belly trying not to spew all over the beautiful-ugly green glass chandelier he’s found in an obscure flea market stall (true story). Or when you’re dragged to yet another bookshop in Tokyo to haul a load of books by bike to the post office… Or when you’re in Braidwood trying to fit a giant tin tub into a two door hatch back… Yes, yes, I hear you, thing could definitely be worse.

As someone who has been involved since the inception of Hotel Hotel though, talking with Nectar about concepts, names, configurations, artists, processes of making…

I can tell you that, to be totally honest, it’s bloody tiring…

But it’s also totally inspiring.

Nectar has a curious mind. Curious in that he makes desultory connections between things and people (which often amount to nothing). And curious in that he takes an interest in pretty much every thing and everything and in the possibility of those things.

These connections span over a wide range of concepts, objects, places and people and their unexpected relationships (when they do actually amount to something) make for strange and fantastical worlds.

I’ll take you to one now. It’s one in the making so we’ll see what comes of it in the future…

Nectar found a book called the ‘Toaster Project’ by Thomas Thwaites. It’s the story of how Thomas makes a toaster from scratch from his home in the UK – mining the raw materials, making the plastic, inventing a furnace from a microwave… He spends about a year making what is essentially the equivalent of a $6 toaster. It brings up questions about mass production and whether it’s okay to spend just $6 on a toaster whose parts are so resource intensive… And that will inevitably end up in landfill after just a few years.

After his book, Thomas spent a year investigating what it might be like to be a goat. He commissioned some prosthetic goat legs, consulted a behavioral expert, and lived with some goats (as a goat) on a goat farm in the Swiss Alps.

So naturally (?) Nectar made the connection between these thoughts of mass production and living with goats and is now talking to Thomas about forms of experimental living. Madness. But excellent madness.

In his soft and thoughtful voice Nectar will be giving an informal talk as part of our Fix and Make program alongside his lovely curatorial co-conspirators Ken Neale and Don Cameron.

The conversation will give unique insight into the curatorial approaches of three very unconventional collectors and curators — presenting new ways for finding value and meaning in objects. What makes stuff the “good stuff”? Are the stories about the stuff and the people that made it more important than the stuff itself?

The Fix and Make ’19 Objects – New Ways to Value’ is on Wednesday 25 November at 6PM in the Nishi Gallery at NewActon.

Book your tix.

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