“Perfect Day: Drugs and Art”, Whitebox Art Center, New York

Since the dawn of history, entheogens were thought as sacraments by shamans and ingesting them led to communing with deities, dead ancestors, and spirits. Today, medical research into the synthetic equivalent of hallucinogenic flora and fauna including powerful psychedelics such as LSD and MDMA, has produced possibilities in treating a myriad of psychological disorders through their low-level administration known as micro-dosing. At the same time, pain-relieving drugs used during surgery and in post-operation rehabilitation, have been abused creating large-scale addiction and fatal overdoses in the tens of thousands leading to lawsuits against the main producer of opioids: Purdue Pharma. On “October 21, 2020, it was reported that Purdue had reached a settlement potentially worth $8.3 billion, admitting that it “knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to aid and abet” doctors dispensing medication “without a legitimate medical purpose.”

Apart from Perdue’s intent of criminality, the “war on drugs” initiated by Richard Nixon in 1971 has been won, except drugs are the victors. In the wake of this, scholars have proposed decriminalization of all drugs that will lead to less crime and homelessness, overcrowding of hospitals and prisons, and underscore a humane approach to global drug addiction that has reached epidemic proportions. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is the first stage in achieving this, and as evinced by certain countries of the European Union, drug decriminalization has led to positive social results in contrast to political conservatives who view that in doing so, would engender drug usage.

And then, of course, is the use of entheogens and drugs for aesthetic purposes in which many iconic works of art and literature were inspired by. With all these issues within its curatorial purview, Perfect Day: Drugs and Art is an international group exhibition of painting, sculpture, works-on-paper, photography, video, and performance that explores the social, cultural, and political contexts of drugs or mind-altering substances in human societies both historically and contemporaneously.

Participating Artists:
Abdul Vas | Antonio Caro | Alvaro Verduzco | Arlene Rush | Avelino Sala | Bill Berry | Bradley Eros | Chin Chih Yang | Claudia Baez | Daniel Rosenbaum | Dirty Churches | Eduardo Gil | Ernesto Restrepo | Eteri Chkadua | Franck Saïssi | gua_s | Isolde Kille | Jason Mena | Javier Téllez | Jeanette Doyle | Jerena Tomasevic | Jim Costanzo | Jorge Tacla | Julia Justo | Julia San Martin | Kiichiro Adachi | Lorin Roser | Loy Luo | Marni Kotak | Max Blagg | Miguel Rodriguez Sepulveda| Mona Saeed Kamal | Nina Kuo | Noel Hennelly | Oxana Kovalchuk | Pedro Sanchez III | Robert Boyd | Sasha Summer | Seonming Ahn | Susana Sulic | Tamiko Kawata | Tana Oshima | Teresa Serrano | Yann Leto | & Special Guests

Curated by Raul Zamudio and Juan Puntes
Organized with Kyoko Sato

WhiteBox Annex @ ChaShaMa Space
November 10th 6-8 PM – December 6th
1791 Lexington AveNew York, New York 10029

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