The Pursuit of Happiness, 2013

The Pursuit of Happiness refers to a passage in Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations about the forgetfulness of animals: “Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by. They do not know what is meant by yesterday or today […] A human being may well ask an animal: ‘Why do you not speak to me of your happiness but only stand and gaze at me?’ The animal would like to answer, and say, ‘The reason is I always forget what I was going to say’ – but then he forgot this answer too, and stayed silent”. In this drawing, the cattle’s ‘silence’ is achieved by crossing out all the lines on more than a hundred pages from a German academic treatise about the social sciences that was withdrawn from a university library. The idyllic scene is created by actively ‘forgetting’ knowledge, but for the most part, the text can still be read. The past “returns as a ghost”.

Dimensions: 135 x 187cm

  • January 25, 2013