Social Media

Point of View


I have never used a wheelchair. Today, at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, I was invited to move through an art exhibit via wheelchair.

Entering the exhibit, my classmates and I approached the group of wheelchairs suspiciously. Was this part of the exhibit? If so...then we cannot touch them, for you cannot touch things in museums. A museum attendant provided clarification with broken english and hand gestures and eager head nods, signifying that the wheelchairs were there for our own personal use.

Thus, most of us adopted a wheelchair, and began to awkwardly maneuver about the exhibit. Titled "Disabled by Normality," the exhibition "attempts to reveal and problematize the terms normality and disability in the manner in which our notions of them affect the lives of all of us – they either limit us, or on the contrary give us an advantage."


I always wanted to experience a wheelchair. Use it as an excuse to skip lines at amusement parks, or just two weeks ago, to jump in front of the crowd for a closer view of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. But as I tried to maneuver forward and backwards, and turn about corners in the museum, I realized the difficulty of being physically confined to a chair. I had selfishly desired a wheelchair before thinking of perks that it could provide or maybe even the attention, but I was wrong.

The exhibit was beautiful. Photos and paintings and their descriptions were all lowered to the eyesight level of one who is sitting in a wheelchair. Also moving about the space, you could no longer entirely distinguish between those who actually needed a wheelchair for mobility and those who were merely "testing" one out. Honestly, I am still contemplating the exhibit and my own short experience sitting in the wheelchair. As the purpose states, I believe that there may be both an advantage as well as disadvantage to "disability." And I think the best exhibits keep you thinking long after you leave the museum.

Theme by BD