“The Myth of Normal: A Celebration of Authentic Expression,” currently on view at MassArt Art Museum, was inspired by guest curator Mari Spirito’s reading of “The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture,” a 2022 book by Gabor Maté (written with Daniel Maté).
The show, which reopens after the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s winter break on January 18, is a platform for artists to speak their truths. The exhibition is a globally inclusive distillation of contemporary zeitgeist. It offers a sensory antidote to what the exhibition notes mention as, “beliefs and behaviors that are generally con- sidered normal even though they are in fact making us emotionally and physically sick [think of] human beings contorting themselves in order to survive day to day life.” The curatorial choices of Spirito (MassArt Class of ‘92), reflect an understanding that ours is a hostile environment, demonstrating the power of art to instigate cultural shift.
I viewed “Myth of Normal” with MAAM Director Lisa Tung who gave full credit to Spirito for developing the show and added that “The Myth of Normal: A Celebration of Authentic Expression” coincides with MassART’s 150th Anniversary, and so to honor that milestone, the show is comprised entirely of MassArt alumni.