Fake Fulfillment Center
Shawn Kolodny: The Fake Fulfillment Center
What is your biggest addiction? Is it a particular vice? Drugs? Fashion? Perhaps social media? Artist Shawn Kolodny’s exhibit “The Fake Fulfillment Center” was created to stimulate his audiences’ thoughts about their addictions. We all have them, and Kolodny’s ’50s-style doctor’s office entrance sets the stage for us to stop and ask ourselves “just what are the things I need a prescription for in my own life?”
Shawn Kolodny has found playful and curious about discussing the issue openly and without stigma. A native of New York, Kolodny multi-faceted background has provided him with a unique perspective on how to talk about drug addiction and bring attention to the significant issue facing over 23 million people in this country. Know in a variety of influential circles, from nightlife to technology, Shawn’s passion for creating engaging and thought-provoking artwork led him to his first solo exhibit at Miami’s Art Basel 2017.
His presentation displayed at the Boulan Boutique Hotel, a destination hotspot, deep in the heart of South Beach, Miami. The installation, entitled, “The Fake Fulfillment Center” has a variety of opportunities for viewers to interact with the art itself. Each room is a vignette and through various mediums allows the audience to take part in facing their addictions. The inclusion of high-end brands, incorporated into drug-paraphernalia, transforms each room into a living work of art. With the craziness of Art Basel “The Fake Fulfillment Center” was the perfect place to meet up with friends and view some fascinating artwork.
After waiting in the 1950’s-style waiting room, the receptionist finally explains that the audience is about to enter the art installation. She elaborates on how pervasive drug culture is in America and how the presence of addiction is rampant in all aspects of today’s society. Once through the front office door of the exhibit, the audience puts on lab coats and is immediately greeted with music that all have drug references or drug themes. The audience then is invited to enter the first room. This room is called “The Single Dose of Prada,”- a room full of mirrors, Prada on canvas and Prada on prescription bottles. The next room is called “The Confessional”- this part asks the audience to think and talks about the physical things that they are addicted to such as pills, sex, or sports cars.
Additionally, the audience is asked to think about some of the intangible things they are addicted to specifically what they cannot live without doing. The audience is then asked to write down the items or activities they use to escape their current reality. The physical act of listing vices makes this one of the most powerful aspects of the entire art installation.
After that, the audience moves into a room filled with cat memes, which is meant to symbolize the generational addiction to social media, viral content, and the World Wide Web. The audience then picks up water-filled syringes and uses them to spray against a black canvas ultimately unveiling Shawn Kolodny’s actual artwork. Addiction is often hidden and covered which is what makes this part of the installation particularly moving to the audience.
The personal nature of Shawn’s art, contrasted with the introspective journey the audience physically goes through, makes this installation so thought provoking and real. Finally, the audience moves to the “The Zen Garden”- an arrangement with Apple artwork on the walls and a garden filled with millions of pill capsules. Audience members are encouraged to rake the millions of pills and relax. The exhibit ends in a room called the “Blister Twister,” and instead of regular twister dots there are pictures of social media content; things people click on, “like,” “@” and “re-tweet.”
In the “Blister Twister,” the guests put their names on a life-size pill bottle, and a nurse asks, “What items fulfill you? Based on the answer, the nurse writes a “prescription” for whatever it is that satisfies that particular audience member's soul, while he or she stands in a life-sized pill capsule. The installation ends in an area where artist prints are available. In this area, there is a further discussion amongst the audience as to the emotions, the experience, and the art.
When asked about other artists inspire him Shawn was honest with his answer. “There are probably too many artists for me to mention but to name a few Daniel Armstrong, Jeff Koons and many more. We started Mode Culture Magazine to feature artists like Shawn who is revolutionizing the way discussions can happen about taboo issues and subjects. Bringing light to people's real addictions and helping to talk about them openly is part of the way we are going to make society better in the long run. We hope always to be able to highlight creativity and the power of the human spirit to overcome any and all obstacles, real or imagined. Special thanks to Shawn Kolodny for your words and your art. YOU inspire us, and this piece is for all of those out there dealing with any issues or addictions. If the art installation taught us anything, it is that we should never be silent and we should always engage. So speak up! Reach out!
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