Niet Normaal Announced

Sculpture of a female torso made with leather and studs

Birgit Dieker, Bad Mummy, 2005.

Niet Normaal – Difference on Display
in partnership with the Bluecoat
What is normal and who decides?

Niet Normaal: Difference on Display, a major international contemporary art exhibition will come to the Bluecoat, Liverpool this summer as part of DaDaFest 2012.

The exhibition also forms part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

From Friday 13 July – Sunday 2 September, the Bluecoat will be given over to this landmark exhibition, which will feature the work of over 30 internationally renowned artists including new commissions, each addressing a definitive question of our time: ‘what is normal and who decides?’, specifically focussing on language as freedom and language as imprisonment. This question is being examined through art that aims to celebrate difference in the year of London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in the context of a disability and deaf arts festival.

Niet Normaal brings together important artworks by a number of leading international artists who address this question . Adapted by curators Ine Gevers and Garry Robson from a highly successful Amsterdam exhibition, which attracted over 50,000 visitors in 2010 (, this will be the first showing in the UK of this compelling group of works.

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 judgments about other people. We base these judgments on a host of superficial factors, appearance, health, age behaviour, 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.

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