Do No Harm: ‘The candy on the outside sugar-coats the sickness within’

The exhibition features 900 resin popsicles.

The exhibition features 900 resin popsicles. - Credit: Archant

An art exhibition made up of 900 brightly coloured resin ice lollies. If you were to imagine the perfect setting for your next Instagram post, this would surely be right up there.

Each ice lolly is filled with surgical blades, syringes or painkillers.

Each ice lolly is filled with surgical blades, syringes or painkillers. - Credit: Archant

Lined up 'on mass in pharmaceutical orderliness' and with these vibrant colours concealing surgical blades, syringes and painkillers within, a #nofilter picture here would surely grab the attention of your followers - for a few seconds, at least - before the normal service of endless scrolling is resumed.

Except, the whole point of the Jealous Gallery's upcoming exhibition - which is titled Do No Harm - is to 'critique contemporary society's obsession and consumption of social media.' Ah.

The new installation is unveiled next Thursday (July 4) and is the work of mixed-media artists, Miss Bugs.

"The ice lollies represent the churn of the social network; the posed selfies, the frothy coffee top photos and the cute animal videos side of the internet that we all like to binge on, but inside it's rotten and sick," they say.

"Digital technology whilst being a sweetener in our lives perpetually distracts us with a constant, addictive stream of information and temptation.

"The internet becomes a space where reason and logic are trumped by fake news, and people with extremes of opinion can shout each other down. The candy on the outside sugar-coats the sickness within."

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Miss Bugs' latest show displays at the Curtain Road branch of Jealous Gallery until July 21, before switching to its sister venue in Crouch End in September. Do No Harm borrows its name from the Hippocratic Oath; where doctors promise to abstain from any intentional wrong-doing to a patient.

The exhibition has involved four pairs of hands casting, sanding and polishing each popsicle; it took about eight weeks to complete. Those popsicles purchased at Jealous Gallery will come presented in medical packaging, with instructions on how to store and a warning of the side-effects included.

But how do we go about reversing addiction to social media?

"That's a big question and we don't have the answers," say Miss Bugs, which is probably fair enough. "This quote from Eric Schmidt kind of sums it up; 'The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had."

Founded in 2007, Miss Bugs has enjoyed success with sold-out shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris and London down the years. The group are in high demand - there's currently an eight-month wait for those wanting commissions - and Dario Illari, Director of Jealous Gallery, is understandably keen to get started.

"Known for working with cutting edge artists on exciting projects," he says, "Jealous are looking forward to working with Miss Bugs again on this provocative new installation.

"Nearly 1,000 handmade resin lollies filled with pills, razor blades and syringes; what's there not to like?"

Do No Harm is at Jealous Gallery, 53 Curtain Road, between July 4 and 21. For more details, click here.

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