Jennifer Burkley’s Tylenol room (Entitlement / The Past Is Never Dead and Buried) is a large installation consisting of a canopied room hung with multiple garlands of strung white pills. Over 550,000 aspirin went into the creation of this piece, individually drilled and strung like a traditional pearl necklace.
The Tylenol room is a meditation on loss and survival. Burkley’s process of stringing each individual pill is akin to saying the Catholic rosary, obsessively over and over and over again, and in so doing, is a prayer for redemption, hope, and faith. The Tylenol room is like a gift, a deliverance from pain and suffering. More obviously, it is also an irreverent commentary on our overly medicated culture, and psychoanalysis.
The Tylenol room is the most recent in a series of works that are launched from personal events of solitude and great pain. In spite of this, Burkley’s sense of humor, play and beauty are obviously present.In the artist’s own words: “Sometimes I simply cannot help but see and expose the beautiful absurdity within our emotional, social, and sexual selves.