A meditation on consumption and addiction

The installation encircles the room, presenting a change of mood and intensity, from an orderly line of human faces in the pill containers to a whimsical collection of objects and container-portraits. As the viewer continues around the room, the objects and faces trapped in the bottles become more intense and finally dark, somber, disorderly and tragic.

The installation idea formed with the focus on the hidden beauty of ordinary found objects. Each object was collected and held my interest because of shape, color and surface and also because of its former life as a useful and valued object. Out of the collected ephemera, I found myself especially attracted to the tangled, ripped, bent, and broken objects. Some had been run-over, some decayed or rusted, some tattered but, most importantly, discarded.

The radio in my studio repeated story after story about opiate addiction and individuals and families ravaged by this addiction. Among the collected discards on my studio shelf was a large bag of empty pill containers. The pill containers had a shiny, orange transparency but also conveyed aspects of the story on the radio. I cut apart some portrait photos, putting parts of the photos into the pill containers. The photos in the pill containers evolved into portraits that held a variety of emotions.

The installation combines the pill-bottle portraits with carefully chosen objects to create a meditation about the arc of addiction and its corrosive effects.

—Odile Dix