The Normality Projects are unresolved works in process that sit within the throws of everyday life to inspire open dialogue how we, as a society, deal with mental disability. It questions whether the increasing use of mood stabilising drugs is increasing quality of life, or whether it is just narrowing the accepted behaviours of people making for a more generic expression of humanity.
Normality Project, Part 2.
Social Sculpture, institutional 2011.
June 27, 2011.
How easy is it to be prescribed anti-depressants in Sydney?
I called every bulk billing doctor within walking distance of my studio in central Sydney and made an appointment with whoever could fit me in that day.
Three surgeries. (Disappointed, I had hoped for more).
Action guidelines: Don't lie, but do focus on the bad, and remember the feeling from times in my life when I have been feeling depressed. Start the conversation with "I think I am depressed".
If they offer me pharmacuticals I must accept them. I will not fill the prescriptions.
Results: All doctors prescribed me anti-depressant pharmaceuticals within a 15 minute consultation.
Normality Project, Part 1.
The Centrepoint of Normality.
Social Sculpture, conversational 2009 - 2010.
Over the space of a year, I would, wherever possible, fit the following piece of dialogue into conversation:
"I am the centrepoint of normality. When Normality is a linear plane, I provide the pivotal axis. I take the entire spectrum of possible human experience into account when I say this, from mental handicap or birth defect through to highly functioning individuals or intellectuals. This is a service I offer for free. If you would like to assess your own normality, please do come and have a cup of tea with me, any time. I cannot tell you where on the scale you are, but you can use me as a benchmark to judge yourself. "
In a year and a half, I managed to get it in conversation over 100 times.
Less then 5 people replied with "Me too", which was in fact the response I was baiting for.