The People’s Detox
Video, color, sound
March 8 – April 18, 2021
(Schaufenster am Hofgarten & online)
In her 2018 film The People’s Detox, Jenna Bliss uses documentary storytelling to explore the history of a revolutionary drug clinic in New York City in the 1970s that profoundly transformed contemporary notions of health and care.
In November 1970, Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx was collectively occupied by local heroin addicts, revolutionary health organizations, the civil rights organization Young Lords, and members of the Black Panther Party. Through political education, the clinic examined the role of global politics in the influx of heroin into urban centers and proposed new drug treatments to replace established protocols that stand in direct relation to economically incentivized interests of the pharmaceutical industry. With the introduction of alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, the clinic helped transform the very apparatus of addiction and recovery.
Installation views: Jenna Bliss, The People’s Detox, 2018, as part of Schaufenster, Kunstverein München, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Kunstverein München e.V.; photo: Sebastian Kissel.
Video stills: Jenna Bliss, The People’s Detox, 2018. Courtesy the artist.