The works in the group exhibition all attempt to illustrate collective and individual memories, as well as the struggle and desire for certain ideal physical and mental states-often using pop culture references-including bliss, euphoria, buoyancy and happiness. Germans often use the English word happiness to express a brief, fleeting sensation that expires the very moment it arises.
Gagosian Gallery, Berlin is pleased to present "Happiness," a group exhibition
featuring works by Henning Bohl, Gerry Bibby, Peter Coffin, Simone Gilges, Judith
Hopf, Kim Hiorthoy, Chris Johanson, Sean Landers, Tere Recarens, Mungo Thomson,
Kerry Tribe, Geerten Verhues and Katharina Wulff.
The works in the show all attempt to illustrate collective and individual memories, as well as the struggle and desire for certain ideal physical and mental states-often using pop culture references-including bliss, euphoria, buoyancy and happiness.
In contemporary colloquial speech, the original 'good life' of moral philosophy and ancient Greece that is associated with the notion of happiness is usually replaced by a more hedonistic idea of fun. Moreover, 'happiness' is a word used so frequently and in so many different contexts that it has become an international expression, a universal shorthand for which the German language seems to have no native equivalent. Neither unpredictable 'Gluck' (luck or fortune), nor light-hearted 'Frohlichkeit' (cheerful or merriment) adequately describes 'happiness.' Germans often use the English word to express a brief, fleeting sensation that expires the very moment it arises.
Within this frame of reference, many of the works in the exhibition reveal a remarkable sense of capriciousness and tend towards the ephemeral, such as the sound miniature by Kim Hiorthoy and Katharina Wulff's self-reflective drawings. Another common feature in the show is the transformation of everyday objects into purposeless things, as demonstrated by Gerry Bibby, Henning Bohl, Judith Hopf and Geerten Verheus. Other works rely heavily on the overwhelming amount of symbols, and experiences of a world dominated by images, sounds, gatherings and endless information, as seen in the video by Sean Landers featuring the artist dancing with himself and Mungo Thomson's stained glass windows in addition to works by Peter Coffin and Simone Gilges.
Subject matter and first impressions or assumptions fade quickly, which is one of the essential features of these works. That brief feeling of happiness, like the feeling a good pop song evokes; this perfect moment when you reach an epiphany which emerges out of an amalgamation of other harmonies and sensations.
Opening reception: Thursday, March 23, 7 - 9 pm
Gagosian Gallery Berlin
Auguststrasse 50A - Berlin