First on display at the Cohen gallery in 1992 and now permanently on view the Tate Modern, this installation is a detailed replica of a pharmacy. The work is related to the spot paintings, named after pharmaceuticals, but the impact is strikingly different. According to the artist, this work was inspired by walking into a pharmacy and marveling at its ability "to provoke an idea of confidence." The faux pharmacy, as the artist is fully aware, thwarts the expected experience of confidence in this familiar space, and creates a kind of free-floating anxiety. With all the trappings and none of the personnel, the space seems potentially sinister. An additional dimension of the original installation in 1992 enhanced this effect. Holes bored into the walls allowed insects to enter and feed off honeycomb placed around the room. They then flew toward the light and were zapped by the insectocuter. Their performance was a metaphor for the inevitability of death - the end at which we all arrive at some point, and the ultimate futility of modern medicine's efforts to prevent it.
Glass, faced particleboard, painted MDF, beech, ramin, wooden dowels, aluminum, pharmaceutical packaging, desks, office chairs, foot stools, apothecary bottles, colored water, insect-o-cutor, medical text books, stationery, bowls, resin, honey, and honeycomb - Tate Modern, London