The New Normal Memorial

19 June - 30 November 2020

The New Normal Memorial commissions – beyond a plinth and a headstone.

Usurp Art moves on beyond what it has faced…We celebrate again to create something new with QTIPOC /BAME /BIPOC artists and creative thinkers (we embrace all acronyms over the decades as they float, get broken and transform) …We appreciate the emergency funding from Arts Council England to support us right now – the usual financial “greedy capitalist” models have been failing our communities for a long time with people kicking back against it – we need new models for living beyond surviving.

Usurp Art is proud to be commissioning: Black Venus, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Lyall Hakaraia, Raju Rage and Nad Ma, Say It Loud Club, Tanoa Sasraku, The Mollusc Dimension, Umber Ghauri.

The New Normal Memorial

The expression “The New Normal” came into vogue since 9/11, supposedly to describe the new measures everybody had to adjust to because of “the terrorist threat”. We have incessantly heard it again in the UK since Covid 19 entwined with languages of war.

How do we imagine creating, making and doing beyond the going back to, or changing a life that was never normal? How can we explore and make tangible what the yonder sounds, feels, looks and smells like in the context of brutalised pasts and the global neo-colonial present?

Are we already living “the new normal” – a toxic, neoliberal pandemic that forces us cyclically to prostrate and comply, deviate from and resist? Do we need to create a new memorial for future toppling?

If the usual model is: Rescue | Relief | Recovery
Where do Rights | Reparations | Revolutions sit?

What ideas, ideologies or ecologies [of commemoration and future change] might we wish to spread/share? In these current climatic, virtual and viral pandemics, how do we care for the self and/or the other when we are constantly reminded to be resilient?

Where is the “we” and who are our communities? How do we create these to have, an action of agency, justice, persistent will, power and sustainable resources? How might we be together as a community in the future?

Curated by Poulomi Desai. Funded by Arts Council England