Justine Cooper: HAVIDOL
When more is not enough
Dates: February 8 – March 10, 2007
Location: Daneyal Mahmood Gallery
511 West 25th Street, 3FL
New York, NY, 10001
T: 212 675 – 2966
F: 212 675 – 3966
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm
“Everyone should be able to live life to its fullest. I used to believe I did. I felt confident in myself, and my relationships. I exercised regularly. I slept quietly through every night, and awoke each morning feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day. I now know I had a treatable disorder…”
Consumer advertising for prescription medications was legalized in 1997. Since that time, more and more prescription drugs are being developed and sold which can be lifestyle enhancing rather than life-saving. In response to the marketing and advertising tactics of the pharmaceutical industry Cooper has created a fictional marketing campaign to launch her magic-bullet lifestyle pharmaceutical HAVIDOL® which treats Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder.
HAVIDOL® is a frightening approximation of the real thing. Parody gives way to possibility as Cooper recreates the entire drug marketing process–from the invention of a new disorder (wherein a need is first found and then the disorder is penned) to the branding process of naming the drug, its pill and logo design, promotional merchandise, and finally its website, TV and print advertisements.
HAVIDOL® taps into our collective desire and expectation that there is always room for improvement, while walking the line between poking fun at ourselves and wondering how to obtain a prescription. The marketing message leaves us with the sense that we are never good enough, nor have enough. Are we a society of hypochondriacs, or are we biologically built and genetically urged to out-compete our peers and former selves? Cooper’s works on exhibition comment on our temperamental relationship to western medicine, built upon the idea of a malfunctioning body or mind, and the yearning to believe everyday life can be remedied.
HAVIDOL® is an artful parody of a new kind of gold rush heralding an era in which pharmaceutical companies mine psycho-chemicals for a public who is ready to swallow almost anything in the pursuit of the new American Dream: a life without pain, only gain.
Australian interdisciplinary artist Justine Cooper lives and works in New York. She investigates the intersections between culture, science and medicine, moving between animation, video, installation, photography, as well as medical imaging technologies such as MRI, DNA sequencing and Ultrasound. Her work has been internationally reviewed and exhibited. Most recently at the Asia-Pacific Triennial and Eyebeam, along with The New Museum, New York; The NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; The Singapore Museum of Art; The Netherlands Institute for Media Art, The George Pompidou Centre, Paris; Kwang Ju Biennale, Korea, and the International Center of Photography, New York. Justine’s artwork is held in public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), The Queensland Art Gallery and the Australian Center for the Moving Image. She is the recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship a 2-year, once in a lifetime prize awarded to an artist of outstanding artistic achievement and potential.
The artist would like to thank New York State Council for the Arts, Greenwall Foundation, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for their support of this project.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This project has been assisted by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.