More Dangerous than Bird Flu


Since February 8th, over 250,000 people have taken a look at the new drug Havidol, which counters the dreaded Dysphoric Deficit Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD).  Amongst the symptoms of this disorder are occasional stress at work and the odd worry about aging.  If you’re worried that you might be afflicted with this disorder, you should visit Havidol’s website.  There, you can take a test to determine whether you should be consulting your healthcare provider about Havidol.

There’s just one thing: this is an entire farce.  It’s all part of an installation of work by Justine Cooper at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery in New York.  The gallery is just around the corner from me, so I dropped by and I have to say that the installation in cutting satire (By the way, no joke about it conning 250,000 people-read the Reuter’s article here).

The exhibit combines a variety of media to poke fun at both the anxiety of modern society and the questionable ethics of advertising drugs directly to the public.  There are brilliant fake television commercials (fittingly with people popping up out of swimming pools to lecture the viewer on how Havidol changed their life), magazine ads and billboards.  There’s even a blinged out hoodie featuring a lot of gold and the Havidol molecule as a repeated motif.  My favourite part of the exhibit though is both the brand name-Havidol-and the scientific name-Avafynetyme-of the purported miracle molecule.

Here’s the front side of the gallery flyer:


Saturday, March 3, 2007

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