Spasticus Artisticus at Ceri Hand Gallery (Mirror)

Art: Spasticus Artisticus at Liverpool’s Ceri Hand Gallery – The Ticket – TV & Entertainment –

Here’s a first – a positive review of a Liverpool gallery in the Daily Mirror.

I haven’t seen the show yet but it sure sounds interesting.

Curated by Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Fauné the title for Ceri Hand Gallery‘s inaugural 2010 exhibition is taken from the song Spasticus Autisticus, by the great Ian Dury of Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Dury’s song, written 29 years ago for the International Year of Disabled Persons, was both an appeal for understanding of disability and an angry yawp about society, its inhumane sensibilities and its marginalisation of those regarded as not ‘normal’.

The deliberately provocative title confronted head-on the growing taboo at the use of the word Spastic – a term now considered politically incorrect and offensive. Instead spastic was replaced with the blandly medical but uncontroversial cerebral palsy.

Dury, whose own disability was caused by polio, quickly found his mark, with the BBC deeming the song offensive and barring it from the air.

Spasticus Artisticus takes this as its starting point, but does so without the same moral authority of Dury.

This exhibition celebrates “the oddball, the abnormal and the ‘special’ qualities” of artists and explores the freedom of those who deliberately select a life devoted to ideas outside what is regarded as “useful”.