Review: Who Gives a Crap?

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Who Gives a Crap?
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Published 26 Feb 2019

Where would art be without the dunny? Afterall, it was Marcel Duchamp's Fountain – a readymade urinal he selected from a plumbing store in 1917 and submitted to an exhibition in New York – that was voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century. Picasso came in second, and Andy Warhol third.

So there’s no reason why photographer Susan Belperio should not return to the toilet to ask some questions of her own. Perhaps not as philosophical or ideologically disruptive as Duchamp’s, but genuine and intimate within the context of her own life.

After retiring as an anaesthetist at 60 years old, Belperio wants to know if anyone gives a crap about her artwork. Or if anyone really gives a crap about photography. Hence the toilet paper stamped invitations telling people to come to her exhibition held in a functioning toilet.

Unfortunately, these are questions made difficult to answer. For over thirty years, Belperio has taken photographs of toilets. For her exhibition, she’s selected a few and printed them on the end of toilet rolls and hung them in the bathroom. The image quality is poor and it’s hard to give a crap about something you can’t really see.  It’s a shame the actual photos don’t appear framed on the toilet walls as well.

The photographs themselves seem quite generic but there’s something vulnerable and inspiring about Belperio's plight to become an artist later in life. Belperio clearly does give a crap about her photography so perhaps it doesn't really matter whether or not anybody else does.