The beginning of each year has become a major focus for marketeers and the health industry as they promote the notion of rebooting and re-balancing our bodies after the excess of the holiday period.
January has become detox month. We are bombarded with commercials promising us the perfect beach body, lightening fast weight loss and home work out routines guaranteed to improve the way we look.
The ubiquity of spa resorts, plastic surgery options and steroid powders; media images of implausibly attractive individuals and relentless promotion of the societal ideal does much to harm the fragile security many of us have in our appearance and self worth, leading to ever more extreme ways to maintain youth and beauty.
Ours has become a culture enthralled with reality shows targeting physicality, from the most perfect celebrity stereotypes to the most dangerously obese. We have overloaded ourselves on the hysterical attraction to judging those we deem to be winners or losers while applying the same harsh results to ourselves. This pattern compounds the damaging effects of our interest in looks and sex appeal.
The realization of these hopes is unlikely due to the ever evolving demands of society and a constant upwards trends about what is attractive; yet many find it difficult to take a balanced approach to self improvement leaving them vulnerable to potentially dangerous habits from excessive surgery and steroid abuse to anorexia.
It is a concern that is highlighted in this exhibition; the work engages with a cultural phenomena that transcends geographic and class borders; as such we believe that Detox is required viewing, so as you consider which gym to join this year or which facial peel to try, it might help you to visit Detox for some contemplative thought on why these decisions are so important to you. Go on because you're worth it!
Detox is a "pop-up" exhibition, a concept that has gained traction in these economically challenging times. As retail units, businesses and restaurants sit empty, artists are filling the void; taking over these spaces while landlords seek permanent tenants. London has become a focal point for these endeavors and the trend has spread globally as fast as the previous occupants have fallen prey to the difficult financial circumstances we currently face.