Julie Fiala and York Lethbridge


10 May – 30 June, 2002 (nightly 8-11pm)

Somewhere, on the edge of consciousness, there is what I call a mythical norm, and within our hearts each one of us knows that we do not fit that norm.  In America, this norm is usually defined as white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure.  Within this society, the trappings of power reside within this mythical norm.

–Audre Lorde[1]

Conformity is the path of least resistance towards Lorde’s “mythical norm.”  To be mythically normal is a sure grant of ‘salvation.’  But why does ‘salvation’ have such a privileged ring?  Salvation is not an exclusively religious concept; it has implications within wider socio-cultural arenas – where the select few who obtain salvation via this myth are deemed power-ful, while the select many who do not, are deemed power-less.  Salvation is commodified.  Who is more likely to hold this power – a young, thin, heterosexual, Christian, rich, white male or an older, heavier, homosexual, non-Christian, poor, non-white female?

Accordingly, suburbia is a site of expected conformity – a site where white, middle-class ideals are fostered to bolster so narrow a sense of normativity that it becomes impossibly mythical. For some happy homemakers, mainstream ideologies presuppose a right to social privilege, and consequently, SALVATION.

The home is a so-called shelter; it’s architecture – both physical and familial – is believed a haven of comfort.  Nonetheless, however, it can also contain and cloak insecurities and violence.  In this sense, SALVATION is both rejoice and a cry for help.

Julie Fiala & York Lethbridge

A.K.A. New Error Art Collaborative

Julie Fiala – For more information visit:      https://www.facebook.com/julie.fiala

York Lethbridge – For more information visit:   https://ca.linkedin.com/in/york-lethbridge-33b9ab19


[1] See:  “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference.”  In Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti and Ella Shobat (Eds.), Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation & Postcolonial Perspectives.  (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), p. 375.