Dries Verhoeven explores the world of artificial happiness that is increasingly available to us in the form of drugs, painkillers and antidepressants. Now that re creational drug use seems mainstream in the club scene, and the taboo on anti depressants is being lifted, our idea of what emotions are, is shifting. On the street stands a small pharmacy. A humanoid—a human-looking robot—works there as a pharmacy assistant. She tells us about the various products we can use to alter our mental state. Are we moving closer to a world in which we can be lyrical on command, and our emotions programmable?
Happiness explores the area where man and artificiality converge, where synthetic substances help us to re-humanise, maxi- humanise or, for a while, abandon our humanness altogether.
Concept: Dries Verhoeven
Dramaturgy: Hella Godee
Design and development: Chris Creatures Filmeffects & Nelissen decorbouw
Photography: Willem Popelier
Producer: Studio Dries Verhoeven
Coproducer: SPRING Performing Arts Festival en Stichting NDSM-werf
With support of: BPD Cultuurfonds, Fonds Fentener van Vlissingen, stimuleringsfonds creatieve industrie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and BNG Cultuurfonds