Every Pill I Took: 2000-2001
Michael Lorenzini (PILL001)
In our pill-happy society there is a pill for everything. Corporate legal drug dealers, aka Big Pharma, have for decades put design thought into clever pill presses and multicolored gel-caps to distinguish their products and attract buyers. So too, in the 1990s and 2000s when ecstasy swept the club and rave scenes, the branding of pills was essential to the marketing, a way for the user to identify a good high from cold medicine or a batch of poison.
Ecstasy branding was often based on well-known corporate logos. Easily identified, pill makers latched onto the brand recognition of our corporate society subverting the brands at the same time. A process the cultural critic Carlo McCormick says “collapses the ever-convergent space between subversive youth culture and acquiescent mainstream passive consumption.”
While working as a nightlife photographer, New York-based Michael Lorenzini became fascinated by the design details in ecstasy tablets and wanted to document this underground art form. He proceeded to photograph every pill he took from 2000-2001. Although jewel-like in their tiny colorful forms, the macro photographs, shot on slide film with an extreme macro lens, reveal hidden imperfections and textured landscapes.