Prozac. Fluoxetine. A name that speaks different things, depending on who you ask. To some, it turns sad, but otherwise normal people into zombies, or worse still, some sort of drug addict. To others, they are a symbol of individual weakness; an inability to cope with the vagaries of life. If you were to ask yet another group, you might be told that they helped restore some degree of order to a completely fragmented psyche. A chance at a new beginning.
All of that is spelt out on the simple, almost plain packets with that name emblazoned on them. Even more is spoken on the information sheets that are within each packet alongside a drug which it’s extremely likely that you, or someone who you know or love, will be all too familiar with. I certainly am.
That’s the motivation for this piece, to give an artistic dimension to the name. The idea first came to me after a first course of antidepressants back in 2009, which allowed me to feel something close to “normal.”
From there on in, I collected each pack of Fluoxetine I had been prescribed, with a view to turning my consumption of them into something creative. To make some sort of order out of the past few years, and to bring the viewer’s eye closer to a pill that has been, and continues to be a key part of my experience of life.
In each case, a clinical looking background, has been chosen to allow the subject to be stripped of any and all context, leaving only geometry, text, colour and shadow. A time-lapse video made from selected footage of the shoot can be found at https://vimeo.com/273077081.