What is Normal is a three-part collaboration between Radiator Gallery, New York, and Struktura Gallery, Sofia. It is conducted online by creating a unique curatorial platform for the exchange of ideas, presented in a series of exhibitions with curators Naomi Lev, Boris Kostadinov and Gregory Wolf.
This online collaboration was conceived during the 2020 pavid crisis in Covid-19. Galleries and museums were closed and the future looked hopeless. However, the world had somehow united in its common suffering and battle for survival. Then we dared to step out of the comfort of local life and start cooperation abroad. Under normal circumstances, Structure and Radiator would probably not have met, given their physical location. It turned out that isolation opens new doors and provokes conversations for which there is never enough time, money or energy. The abnormality gave birth to another normality and communication that we would otherwise miss.
The What is Normal project is also an attempt to revise the currently popular formats for presenting contemporary art online. We began to rely on visual communication, strongly dominated by words and activated by Zoom and other “live” Internet formats. The first exhibition in the Words in Action series, curated by Naomi Lev, “shuffles” this new reality by presenting an online discussion among four female art groups dealing with remote geographical and socio-political issues. It was followed by Boris Kostadinov’s project “Between Beasts and Angels”, which explores the mechanics of the interaction between man and art, in which the machine is a central tool, mediator and inspiration. Moving discourse back to nature, Gregory Wolf curated the Contact exhibition. Author Jane Bennett writes about “things” in nature as “vital materials that flow through and around us” and attributes special power to them. Renouncing the anthropocentric orientation, artists collaborate with such “materials” that maintain their own vitality and freedom of action.
All projects are available on a specially developed website www.whatisnormal2021.com and through the online platforms of Structura and Radiator.