The subject of this exhibition is happiness, and so we are confronted by the all too familiar and banal question: What is happiness? Is it a state of mind? Auspicious external conditions that we cannot influence? A genetic predisposition? A lost soul’s life-long or perhaps even eternal search? The purpose of all human activity? The opposite of unhappiness? And what are our sources of happiness? Can we all collectively agree on them? If we look at Man as a being that has been undergoing certain stages of evolution, why are we not happier than earlier generations? Is it the fault of our contemporary pursuit of happiness, or has it always been a part of human life? Are human experiences, events, and fates influenced by a higher force, or is happiness expressed by profound personal and individual work? Is being happy a question of decision-making and patience? Is there some kind of innate state of happiness, and can we find it? There exist no clear answers to these questions, nor does the exhibition “Happiness” even attempt to offer any.

The former Center for Folk Art Production building hosts an exhibition featuring different ideas of happiness as it is understood by a group of 23 curators of contemporary art. Each curator chose a space in which to present an artist or his or her own project. As a result, we are confronted with nearly two dozen artistic viewpoints on the subject of happiness – one of the strongest human desires.

Denisa Václavová


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