22 May 2016

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor

Now open at LEA23 is Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, an immersive installation by Frankx Lefavre. It's a dark space that reflects a troubled state of mind, created as the artist grappled with a major bout of anxiety and panic disorder. Visitors need to be sure to turn on advanced lighting model, as otherwise the textures and materials in the build will be largely unseen.

"Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors," explains Frankx, "are the primary drug used to treat anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Last December I was given a LEA grant for 2016, by January I was suffering major attacks of anxiety and panic leading to depression. This is the resultant work and was built whilst this occurred. It is my interpretation of what I was going through and a symbolic art representation of the turmoil and chaos that engulfed me for months. It was a long and slow process, both the building of the sim and my recovery."

If the sim imparts a sense of information overload, or an inability to focus on anything, that's no doubt entirely purposeful, reflecting the onslaught of information that can heighten anxiety and panic disorder, and in the ride down through the build (provided by a bubble) one sees figures falling without control through the chaotic environment. In the center of the build, caged figures lean forward in despair.

But there are signs of hope, as well, pointing toward a possible recovery: a luminous Buddha sits by the east wall, and clusters of open hands seems to invite comfort. The build is thick with material, so visitors should take time to fully explore all its facets. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor will remain on display through the month of June.

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