“[...] In this age happiness, if not obsolete, is a test, an opportunity. "To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without being frightened." (1) We seem to be desperate for happiness, as bookshelves, counseling rooms, and talk shows promote endless recipes for contentment. But the well-worn, feel-good bromides from the likes of Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, and the Dalai Lama seem to work about as well as a Happy Meal, happy hour, or Coke's invitation to "Pour Happiness!”. (John Zerzan, “Happiness”, 2011)
In this precarious world happiness and fear are oddly joined. People are afraid. "They are afraid," Adorno claimed, that "they would lose everything, because the only happiness they know even in thought, is to be able to hold on to something. [...]"(2) (John Zerzan, “Happiness”, 2011)
The exhibition, taking its title from a message sent to a private WhatsApp chat group which almost turned into a meme, addresses issues like peer pressure, fear of missing out, failure and various modern social misery in an absurd and abstract way. The exhibition consists of an installation and a commissioned video for the exhibition produced collaboratively with Berk Çakmakçı. The installation is replicating the habitat of a somewhat privileged millennial who is trying to detach from the brutal expectations, disinformation and depression of the real world by creating his/her own facts and minimal conformism within a tiny cave.
“I’m so happy because I’m reaping the fruits of the things I’ve strived for, made great effort for, for a long time. The lack of success had sucked for a long time”. (Aforementioned WhatsApp message, 2018)