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Happines Machines

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Twilight of the Wolpertinger Oil on Linen © Alexander Heaton
Blunkett
Blunkett © Elizabeth Neal
Eileen
Findng the Real You © Eilleen Cooper
Ha-300
untitledEddie Nuttal
Jenus
I start as I mean to Begin the end (for Joe) © Jenus Kahmke
Hands_kopie
Hands © Christophe Chemin
Joao
Happiness Machin #1 © João Leonardo
Gui
Chimere © Guillaume Airiaud & Philippe Comtesse
Leehm
Moonlit Maiko Screenprint on Steel © Lee Wagstaff
Tatt_triptych_centre
My Heart, My Veins, My Arteries © Richard Sawdon Smith
Pag3_kopie
Money Plant, 2010 © Vanda Playford
Laurel_rise_27
Daily Taste Desire © Laurel Johannesson
Happines Machines

Hertzbergstrasse 27
12055 Berlin
Berlin
Germany
February 26th, 2010 - March 28th, 2010
Opening: February 26th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.riseberlin.com
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
neukölln
EMAIL:  
info@riseberlin.com
PHONE:  
+4916099000687
OPEN HOURS:  
Opening times: Thursday to Saturday 14.00 - 19.00 or by appointment
ARTS ORGANIZATION:  
Falmouth, RCA, ROYAL ACADEMY OF FINE ART, Slade, St.Martins
TAGS:  
photography, mixed-media, digital, installation, graffiti/street-art, video-art, conceptual, pop, realism, landscape, abstract, figurative, modern, traditional, sculpture
COST:  
free

DESCRIPTION

HAPPINESS MACHINES, opening: Friday, 26th March 2010, 7-10 pm @ RISE Berlin, Hertzbergstr. 27, 12055 Berlin (U-Bahn: Karl-Marx-Strasse, S-Bahn: Neukoelln)

Alexander Heaton, Christina Mitrentse, Christophe Chemin, Eileen Cooper, Eddie Nuttall, Guillaume Airiaud & Philippe Comtesse, Hector De Gregorio, João Leonardo, Jonas Ranson, Jan Kiefer, Jon John, Jenus Kahmke, Laurel Johannesson, Lee Wagstaff, Liz Neal, Master Patrick, Matthew Brindle, Richard Sawdon Smith, Stephen Dunne, Tomi Paasonen, Vanda Playford, Xavier Stentz

RISE Berlin invited 23 artists to present work inspired by ideas and themes like identity, individuality, the dangerous masses, consumerism, the power of suggestion, the herd mentality, ideas of happiness, advertising and mass marketing and the all consuming self.

Happiness Machines takes its name from an episode of the BBC TV series 'The Century of the Self' made by Adam Curtis; 'this series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy'. Curtis plots the lesser-known story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Europe and the United States that links individual freedom with consumerism. It tells how the all-consuming self was created, by whom and in whose interests.

Happiness Machines profiles Sigmund Freud's nephew Edward Bernays whose legacies and ideas still shape the way we live our lives today. Bernays utilized his uncle’s theories to manipulate the general public. Freud claimed to have discovered instinctive yet dangerous primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden inside the minds of all human beings. If these forces were not controlled they would lead societies into chaos and destruction. Bernays believed that the masses could be controlled and satiated with consumer products and an aspiration lifestyle. He believed that true democracy occurred when the public were controlled and told how to live their lives whilst still believing they were in control of their owns destinies.

Bernays was the father of 'public relations', he linked consumerism with self-expression by mass marketing the idea of the individual. Bernays believed that for economies to grow we must consume more than we need. Bernays' techniques included celebrity endorsements, publicity stunts, self commissioned 'expert advise' and linking cars to male sexuality. Freud's theories as interpreted by Bernays served as the precursor to a world full of political spin-doctors, marketing moguls, and society's belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man's ultimate goal. In 1928 US President Hoover was the first politician to articulate the idea that consumerism had become the axis of American life. He told a group of advertisers and public relations men that they have been creating desire and have transformed people into constantly moving 'Happiness Machines'.