The human body, understood as a battleground for self-construction in a geohistorical and sociopolitical setting, is subject for critical thought in both philosophical and artistic practice. Addressed as inseparable from its context, as situated within a certain set of power-structures, the body is also, in all its complexity, the emblematic singularity in which these forces occur. In other words; the incarnated individual is not only the ‘site’ where life takes place, but also the location where the social imprints unfolds. As such, the body is a compound of the individual and the collective, an ambiguous singularity of lived experience and the point from which the human being reach out to the world.
Art and art-practice is one expression for this transition, of ‘becoming’. A way to access an extended existence and identity-transfiguration. Excluded and marginalized, the deviate or disabled body, here thought of as socially disabled, as ‘other’ rather than impaired, risks to be sentenced to an endemic position. This isolation is a double-edged concern. Society is a joint venue and a polyphonic construction. Hierarchical positions and homogeneous representation does not only affect the individual but inhibits the common ground. It is of importance that the cultural landscape of contemporary expressions is able to nurture a multiplicity of narratives and co-creators, at the same time, it is equally important to protect the artistic practice from reduction and expedient use. The occasion in which the experience of art is made, both in ‘making’ and ‘experiencing’, can serve no other purpose than its own. Artistic practice can therefor not be used as trashcan for political and social failure. Hence, the question of accessibility or necessity must be articulated from a different standpoint. With rehab-shop we are trying to establish a physical space to put these concerns into play, – not by compromise the expertise of the artist or the specifics in artistic practice, but by letting the multitude of peculiarities exist on their own terms side by side.
If art can be seen as temporary manifestations on the path towards self-definition, then it is a phenomenon linked to our human conditions that a certain understanding, even a vital one, can be gained from. But, artistic production is a mirror and a voltage field rather than a solution. It can not be dictated by political action or legislated conditions. Art and art-practice needs to be as complex and default, contradictory and flawed, as the situation from where it emerged. More than ever, consumer goods are made carriers of both nostalgia and dreams of the future. They are vessels for our desire and a replacement for social values. This development allows exploitation of the most intimate of human functions. Here art and culture can provide alternative thought, be formulated as resistance and/or prospect, also on levels beyond mere visual expression. But only assigned to it’s own conditions, in terms of contradictions and ambiguity’s, and as artistic or receptive conclusions.