Courtesy de l'artiste ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti

The Happy Museum

Date: 2018
Medium: Mixed media

Happy Museum is a capsule museum produced by the artist in consultation with his brother Daniel, a ‘happiness economist‘ whose company, Simetrica, offers consultancy services that evaluate the positive social impact of products and services and convert this into monetary figures.

What is the value in Euros of a Monet painting per minute of viewing? Is the act of dancing as valuable to an individual as a 1,348 euro pay rise per year? What would you need to offer the inhabitants of a rural village in return for them to agree to store the national reserve of nuclear waste beneath them? The artist channels these very real choices and questions raised by the new economic tendencies that govern our lives into a selection of products and objects that pose, in small, everyday ways, complex and often unanswerable moral questions to the viewer.

Part scientific laboratory, part archaeological display and part boutique, the Happy Museum, with its repeating plinths or platforms, is described by Fujiwara as ‘an exhibition format as news feed’ that updates with each presentation of the work. The objects and products he has collected over several years reveal societal tendencies towards contradictions and extremes, where positivity and terror, hypercapitalism and philanthropy, but also cold facts and emotions confront each other in often seductive or absurd ways. Expanding on the legacy of the readymade as art form, Fujiwara sees his collection of products as important ‘material evidence’ of a moment in history.
Courtesy de l'artiste ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti
Simon Fujiwara, Happy Museum, 2018
Simon Fujiwara, Happy Museum, 2018 Courtesy de l'artiste ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti
Courtesy de l'artiste ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti