The Only Happiness I Know is Sad Happy was a solo exhibition in WIELS Contemporary Art Centre’s Project Room (Brussels) 17.12.2016-8.1.2017. The exhibition consists of photographs and a performance. You can find pictures of both under ‘photography’ and ‘performance’.
“In this exhibition, Eeva-Mari Haikala visualizes time, memory and longing through photography and the interaction of body and space: ‘The suggestion of “the painterly” as a philosophical concept is central to my work. Drawing from Gilles Deleuze, I look at painting, and painterly photographs, as an attempt to render the emotional forces behind certain subjects visible. I am interested in evoking an inexplicable sense of melancholy that arises in relation to indeterminate spaces—what Georges Perec calls “spaces without function”.
During the opening night, the otherwise ‘still’ exhibition space will be filled with movement. The artist invites four other dancers to translate their personal feelings and physical sensations into a session of free movement. No choreography or composition, but rather a continued yet intimate performance unfolding in the presence of the public. The music playlist is composed by analogy with the five rhythms of dance practice: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. In addition, a spoken text is recited, recounting an online chat session between Haikala and an anonymous man. The question that guides the chat session is taken from Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical writing: ‘Who is the person to whom all this happens?'”
The performance was created with the artistic assistance of Thomas Dupal. Danced by: Thomas Dupal, Meri Pajunpää, Hugo Mega, Jack Vincent.
The exhibition was supported by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.