FINE ART: Big Pharma Takes a Bitter Pill

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Havidol: Use Only as Directed
Havidol: Use Only as Directed
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Through March 17 at New York's Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, 511 W. 25th St., Australian-born interdisciplinary artist Justine Cooper — who "investigates the intersections between culture, science and medicine," as her bio puts it — is engaged in an elaborate parody of designer drugs and drug marketing with a show called "Havidol: When More is Not Enough." The necessity of Havidol, which treats something called Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder, is exemplified in this sample testimonial: "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." Cooper treats the disorder with an exceedingly well-ordered marketing plan that doesn't miss a trick. TV, print, outdoor, collateral and interactive are all covered, not to mention every aspect of branding right down to wonderfully irrelevant fashion merchandising. Yes, you can get a Havidol hoodie. Some images from the show are seen in the PDF; see Havidol.com and DaneyalMahmood.com for more.
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