Mantis Kane - Turmeric shooting Galleries

The most overtly health-conscious are often reformed addicts, emerging from the pits of excess, charging straight past normality into the high grounds of purity. Switching extremes is an age-old transaction. From drug abuser to vegan user, the journey is well travelled. If you know someone who’s broken through – beaten their demons and put the dragon to sleep – then you’ve probably been ironically driven to that very same addiction by their soapbox jibber jabber. The personal triumph, we get it. It’s the excruciating foghorn of self-righteousness that blows a heavy and unbearable melody.


But paradigms are changing; the formula fiddled with. Some of today’s youth are on a different trajectory. The old-school teenage rebellious rite of passage, which starts with innocent gateway drugs and ends with a life-rocking binge, has been modified by over-informed hipsters, all too well-versed in the pitfalls and unethical backstories of the drug world.


Ideologies have shifted from cavalier living-in-the-momentness to fastidious health consciousness. Overexposure to social media’s stream of wellbeing data makes it hard to digress from prime optimisation. Even rogues and delinquents are eating kale thrice a week and performing green tea enemas before the Sunday fast.


But a subversive streak lingers… latent wildness still bubbles under the surface.


Turmeric Shooting Galleries have been invented to provide a safe space to act out a placebo drug addiction, minus the ills. If you’re unfamiliar with the traditional shooting gallery model, it’s essentially a venue popularised in the 70s, by proper heroin addicts, looking for a place to inject proper heroin. Squalid hovels, full of societies degenerates getting a fix. Romanticised by films, bands and emo librarians, the shooting gallery has been mythologized as a hub of counterculture and creativity, often conveniently washing over the darker realities.


Tinkering with the model, the new age shooting gallery exchanges opiates for Turmeric, bypassing the badness and mainlining the latest wonder drug. Where heroin defined the carefree 80s, Turmeric represents today’s zeitgeist; the herb of the information generation; the anti-inflammatory age.


Turmeric Shooting Galleries combine the desire to be simultaneously healthy and anarchistic. Hipsters check in via Facebook, then head to a once-rough-suburban-neighbourhood, now gentrified and hyper-inflated. Congregating with fellow addicts in artfully dilapidated urban squats, there’s a distinct sense of danger. The interior design has all the touch-points of an authentic smack den, apart from the hookers, sharp edges and bloodstained ceilings. Undulating psychedelic slo-mo rock is carefully selected by the gallery’s art director, pumped through expensive Bluetooth speakers in dimly lit alcoves. There’s all the paraphernalia – the needles, the syringes, the belts, the artisan spoons – all purchasable memorabilia.


The role-play of addiction is in full swing. Kids gouching on surrogate smack, iridescent yellow hedonism with no comedowns or nasty skin complaints.


The age of the experiential placebo druggy is here. Fully sanitised vice – machine washable rebellion.