Eat your vitamins three times a day
and you shall live until you pass away.
— Old Soviet proverb


At present, that bulge in the population snake is doing everything it can not to age. Having fetishized its own youth, the Woodstock generation is furious at having to trade in its voluptuousness for its responsibilities. It now has to worry about rather than celebrate getting high, getting hung over, getting laid, getting fired. There are fewer and fewer ways of escaping even as there are more and more pains and pressures to escape. The joys of earning a living and raising a family have been mitigated from the git-go by lingering resentment at having to abandon personal freedom and physical perfection. The boomers' money frenzy of the '80s seemed to be driven by a desire not just to beat their parents at their own game, but to thrash their parents with that very game. "So you want us to make a living, huh? Well, we're gonna make piles of money, by any means necessary!" And in this decade, midlife crisis is an acid flashback on a protracted adolescence.

But, like, whoa! Fountain of youth time! Amino acids! Antioxidants! Aerobics! Hair regrowth! Retin-A! The prolongation of life, and even youthfulness (if not youth), is now a reality. It requires a great expenditure of effort and resource -- it's a commodity like everything else -- but it is achievable. Despite the FDA or the AMA, it's more than snake oil. But in every elixir and regimen snake oil is still an ingredient.

— Excerpt from Peter Frank's essay for the exhibition catalog.
to catalog

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