Happy Work

"Happy Work" is the title of an exhibition I submitted to a gallery for a juried show. A juried show is when you do a call for artists and pull from the people who submit art for the show. In this case, I would be the jury. None of my work would be in the show. Here's part of my exhibition proposal:

“Happy Work” is meant to be both an honest attempt at a descriptive exhibition title in that the exhibition examines the naïveté and absurdism of attempting to find or express the simplistic yet earnest emotion of happiness. However, the title also serves as an example of this absurdism by suggesting that this goal is impossible.

In the wake of 9/11, SAIC students have the experience of living in both a pre-9/11 and post-9/11 world, which makes them well-suited as both viewers and artists to understanding concepts such as loss of innocence and impotence in the face of disaster. This is an important time to address a less-charged post-9/11 atmosphere of innocence lost when many students have lived almost an equal amount of time in pre- and post-9/11. Work in this exhibition may not address 9/11 directly but it hopes to ask questions about feeling and communicating happiness through art. “Happy Work” can be interpreted as absurd, naïve, overly simplistic, or sarcastic. Yet, if we attempt to express or comment on personal happiness through art, why does this dichotomy of seriousness and absurdism reveal itself? I would like the viewer to ask herself how either seeking/experiencing personal happiness or making “Happy Work” reveals an underlying tension between earnest desire and absurdity.


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