The Adventure Playground and Playscape Archive Study Unit. 2013
This installation was created for the Schmela Haus and the exhibition Das Kind, die Stadt und die Kunst. The Walk-through installation encompasses the ground floor of the building – a former drive-through entrance – and the garden. It is a playroom, playground, public space, archive, and library all in one. The collection of literature on playgrounds has been compiled by Norman over the years, and it bears witness to his serious interest in this topic. A large number of books in the library date from the 1970s and deal with the question of participation, a topic vehemently debated at the time. For example, the book Build Your Own Playground, 1974 by Jeremy Joan Hewes includes documentation on playgrounds as well as specific building instructions. The do-it-yourself aesthetic of the installation on view makes evident the extent to which these books have inspired Norman's artistic work.
The Library is complimented by an extensive image archive. A large pillow-circle invites visitors to spend time looking at the pictures. In the garden are two circular sandboxes and tree trunks of different heights, which recall the cement bases of the playgrounds designed by Aldo van Eyck in Amsterdam. Through his use of interior and exterior space and the repaeting form of the circle – in he windows, pillow-sofa, and sandboxes – Norman makes further reference to the work of van Eyck.
Playgrounds: Reinventing the Square, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. 2014
Das Kind, die Stadt und die Kunst, Schmela Haus, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany. 2013
Cartographies of Hope: Change Narratives, DOX, Prague, Czech Republic. 2012
Time as Matter: MACBA collection new acquisitions, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain. 2009