Judith van ValenAlumnus
I am interested in why people see certain things as normal, beautiful, or in an other way shocking and other as not. That leads directly to the fact that always a norm is created. I reckon people's opinion of what normality or beauty is comes forth out of what they are used to; the cultural and social background you grow up with, as well as daily aspects of life. For western society that includes your surroundings and all media such as television, newspapers and art.
In our world today, many becomes possible. Developing fenomena as plastic surgery, body modification and genetic modification are starting to blur our vision on what is human and what is not. How far can we go? And how far do we want it to go? Some tend to use these fenomena as a tool to become more attractive. While doing this they change their appearance into something closer to the norm. If everyone would go that direction, everyone would look the same, so to speak. Yet, others want to be noticed by diverting from that norm.
There have been serious investigations as to how we are able to distinguish external beauty. There are many interesting conclusions to be drawn, and an important one of that is that it is simply in our nature. Biologically we tend to choose for the best genetic qualities, which include symmetry and various other aspects.
This years project is about the creation of the norm. What is normal, what is not and how can we influence that perspective? From the viewpoint of the contemporary western society the investigation will take its course.