Disentanglement in The New Normal?
Curated by Sophie Fulton
The New Normal? is a science and art collective, discussing shifting pandemic perspectives, post-covid ideologies and the instability of normality.
Normality. An adaptive environment that evolves as we do. A societal anchor of security and assurance. An individual experience. Featuring works by seven Bio and Body Artists, The New Normal? emulates the heightened fusion of virus science and pandemic culture. Contributing to current conversations of shifting pandemic perspectives, post-covid ideologies and the instability of normality, each artist offers their diverse experiences and practices through the lens of the pandemic. This publication is part of a broader project, offering Bio and Body Artists and Science Art Researchers space to reflect on their practice in a time of Covid and express their collective and individual 'new normal'.
This Project and Publication was curated as part of the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) Glasgow School of Art course (2020-1), run in conjunction with the University of Glasgow.
Artists and Scientists
Bethan Burnside, Magdalena Dukiewicz, Michal Gavish, Heather McDonald, Laura Splan, Gaia Tretmanis & Kimia Witte.
NORMALITY. An adaptive environment that evolves as we do. A societal anchor of security and assurance. An individual experience.
The impact of the virus on our loved ones, society and culture has made us prioritise differently. However, it has also resulted in an idealisation of pre covid life and its post-pandemic potential. Life in 2019 is portrayed as a utopian dream, not fully appreciated when we lived through it.
The space between being hopeful and developing a fantasy future is difficult to pinpoint in this whirlwind of the unknown. Coronavirus has warped the human gauge for reality; we are no longer sure of 'life as usual': life is not usual; therefore, we must imagine life out with a pandemic. This has resulted in the cultural adoption of the term 'the new normal'. It is simultaneously used to explain our anxiety of the unfamiliar and express the human determination to 'keep calm and carry on'. It encompasses our need for stability throughout a pandemic while voicing hope for a better future, idealised or not.
With this realisation, I saw an opportunity to invite Artists and Scientists to contribute to a collective of ideas, express their scientific and artistic practice and its development, and consider their own new normal. Featuring Bio and Body Artists, The New Normal? will emulate the heightened fusion of virus science and pandemic culture. The New Normal? will contribute to and start conversations about shifting pandemic perspectives and the instability of normality, alongside offering diverse experiences and practices affected by Covid, something which future humankind can reflect on. Finally, I wish for the project to bring further recognition to those in the scientific, health and cultural sectors for their heroic commitment and resilience during the pandemic.
—Sophie Fulton, Curator