Super-Crip - For DaDaFest
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.
Working with disabled comedian Laurence Clark, I was tasked to design and bring to life his disabled super-hero character SUPER-CRIP; who’s super power is that he can switch impairments to overcome adversity and danger to himself and others.
The term supercrip, in very basic terms, is used to refer to a common stereotype found in the media’s portrayal of disabled people; smiling, happy, can-do types who are often outrageously praised for always striving to “overcome” their situations. It’s an interesting and much deeper topic than I have space to go in to here but one that Laurence is examining by way of lampooning the traditional image of famous comic book super-heroes… many of whom have a disability themselves (Professor Xavier, Daredevil, Thor/Donald Blake). The comic heads out there will no doubt spot some pretty blatant 60s Marvel references in the work itself.
Super-Crip’s power is that he can switch impairments at will. So by suffering one disability he gains super-increases in all other areas to compensate. By turning himself blind he gains the increased ability of SUPER HEARING to navigate in the dark, thus confronting more common stereotypes of the disabled in popular media and fiction.
All art - traditional/digital, A1 (23”x33”) giclee print.
As part of DaDaFest I will be speaking about the work along with other artists from the exhibition on the 17th August at the Difference On Display Seminar. So if you want to come through and check the artwork and talk to me about it then check this post for details.