Niet Normaal: Difference on Display
DaDaFest 2012 presents Niet Normaal: Difference on Display, at the Bluecoat
Adapted from a landmark Dutch exhibition, Niet Normaal (a popular phrase literally translated as ‘not normal’, but also meaning ‘cool’) features work in a variety of media.
The Niet Normaal: Difference on Display exhibition asks the question: what is normal and who decides. It aims to examine the world we build together, one not always as inclusive and democratic as we would wish for.
What is this norm, and who actually satisfies it? Where do we draw the line? At a facial wrinkle, a depression, at someone who isn’t interested in getting ahead, at a visible prosthetic device, taking pills to improve intelligence, at major cosmetic surgery?
Every minute of every day we make judgements about other people. We base these judgements on a host of superficial factors, appearance, health, age behavior, cultural definitions of validity, where perfection is often assumed to be the norm or at least the goal. But what is perfection and who wants it?
Niet Normaal will display work by artists seeking out paradoxes and casting a keen eye on the world around them, and share their findings with visitors. The result is by turns shocking, humorous and touching. New spaces open up between temptation and confrontation: room for being different.
It focuses on issues such as perfectibility, normalisation strategies, language as a vehicle to play out norm and difference, and the paradox of technology. Technology is an important tool that enables people to participate but also we tend to instrumentalise technology such that it creates sameness. In the hands of an ablist driven society technology might marginalise disabled people instead of being an aid.
Niet Normaal Liverpool brings together 24 artists works, among whom several newly commissioned works around the theme of language as a double edged sword: it can imprison as well as set us free.Adapted from the successful Amsterdam exhibition conceived and curated by Ine Gevers, this will be the first showing in the UK of this compelling group of works. Ine Gevers and co-curator Garry Robson have developed the exhibition especially for DaDaFest.