What is Normal is a three-part collaboration between Radiator Gallery, New York, and Structura Gallery, Sofia. It takes place online, creating a unique curatorial platform for the exchange of ideas, presented in a series of exhibitions with curators Naomi Lev, Boris Kostadinov and Gregory Volk.
This online collaboration was conceived during the Covid pandemic crisis in 2020. Galleries and museums were closed and the future seemed hopeless. Strangely, the world had united in common battle and suffering. It was then that we dared to jump out of the comfort of local life and embark on overseas cooperation. Under normal circumstances Structura and Radiator would not likely have met each other, considering their physical locations. It turned out that isolation opened new doors and provoked conversations for which otherwise there wouldn’t have been time, money, or enough energy. Abnormality gave birth to a different normality and to communication that we would otherwise have missed.
The resulting project, What is Normal, is not only a showcase but also an attempt to re-examine currently popular formats for presenting contemporary art online. We began relying on visual communication highly dominated by words and enabled by Zoom and other “live” Internet formats. The first exhibition in the series, Words and Actions, curated by Naomi Lev, shakes up this new reality by presenting an online discussion among four female art collectives engaging with remote geographies and socio-political issues. It is followed by Boris Kostadinov’s project Between Beasts and Angels, exploring the mechanics of human’s interaction with art, in which the machine is the central instrument, mediator and inspiration. Shifting the discourse back to nature, Gregory Volk curates the last show in the series, Contact. Author Jane Bennett has written of “things” in nature as “the vital materialities that flow through and around us” and ascribed to them “thing-power.” Jettisoning an anthropocentric orientation, the artists in Contact collaborate with such “materialities,” which maintain their own vitality and agency.
All the projects are available on the specially designed website www.whatisnormal2021.com and through the online platforms of Structura and Radiator.
What is Normal would not be possible without the active cooperation of Maria Vassileva, Tamas Veszi, and Daniela Kostova.
Coordinator: Gergana Moudova.
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