Marek Schovánek: Pharmatopia

7 Feb – 1 Apr 2014

The Pharmatopia installation is composed of hand-sculpted coloured pills. The various shapes and sizes and the vast range of colours used on each sculpture of the installation have a very sensual and vibrant, almost glossy commercial appeal.

Upon closer inspection, each individual work reveals an embedded “brand name”, a title engraved in the pill expressing an underlying wish or fantasy that is not available at your local pharmacy, but pertains rather to desires beyond the scope of human needs.

The topics are a play on normal human wishes and longings, listed in a catalogue for impossible realities: buy metaphysics, gain trust, enjoy revenge, take a pill for pain. All is available as an enticing product.

The installation thus becomes an extension of the dream offered by modern pharmacology and a social critique of our hyper-real appetites, framing a visionary chemical spirit of transcendence to go beyond what is humanly possible, at one’s convenience and at a moment’s notice.

The name Pharmatopia expresses a connection between the pharmaceutical industry and utopia. A drug isn’t offered to us as a medical treatment, but rather so that we shall believe the promise of a future dreamed-of reality. The installation becomes the reality of dreams that the modern pharmaceutical industry offers, while simultaneously criticizing our excessive needs. The Pharmatopia exhibition also touches upon the question to what degree global distribution of drugs is concentrated in economically developed countries and to what extent it ignores the needs of people from hitherto undeveloped countries and regions.

Pharmatopia j is the first exhibition of the Museo Mundial project.

The Museo Mundial Project

Project concept within the Czech Republic: T. Tožička and M. Kreuzzieger

The purpose of the European project entitled Museo Mundial is to use exhibitions and museum interventions to elicit discussion regarding Millennium Development Goals (priorities established by the UN in 2000). Another goal is to take advantage of possibilities offered by hitherto neglected cooperation between exhibition institutions and development organizations to familiarize the public with programmes and themes that interconnect our local view with the global context.