press release

Pursuit of Happiness What does happiness mean at the start of the 21st century? Pursuit of Happiness is a poetic exhibition about the quest for happiness. The exhibition brings together videos, installations and projects of twenty artists that relate the shifting experience of happiness, security, and safety to contemporary suburbia. The new Dutch neighbourhood Leidsche Rijn (Utrecht) is a prime example of an area where high expectations converge. This new district is the setting for Pursuit of Happiness, and the biggest new housing estate in the Netherlands. It is one of the most extensive new development projects in Europe, set to accommodate almost 80.000 people in 2015.

Pursuit of Happiness offers a kaleidoscopic vision of the endeavour for ideal love, a family situation and an environment to live in. How does the ideal society envisaged for a developing community shape up: as a loose collection of individuals, as a constellation of groups or as something held together by local government? Are personal dreams also shared dreams? Some projects are based on research and a stay by artists in the emerging neighbourhood Leidsche Rijn; others express themselves in more universal terms about the ‘pursuit of happiness’.

The exhibition takes place near Shigeru Ban’s Paper Dome and in Het Gebouw, a building designed by artist Stanley Brouwn that has recently been completed.

Pursuit of Happiness has been compiled by Tom van Gestel, Nathalie Zonnenberg and Liesbeth Bik. Together they make up the artistic directorate of BEYOND, the long-term art project initiated by the Utrecht City Council and SKOR. Previously BEYOND organized the outdoor exhibition Parasite Paradise. This transitory town of mobile architecture was a plea for a more flexible form of urban development. Pursuit of Happiness is a sequel to that statement, closer to the community, the individual resident. The first manifesto centred on the hardware, the building of a city, now the focus has shifted to the software, the people who populate a new urban environment. On the website you will find up-to-date information on art projects, location, accessibility, tours, special evening programmes and lectures. To accompany the exhibition a Happy Magazine will be issued with contributions by among others, David Hamers, Gijs van Oenen and Henk Wildschut. The exhibition has been designed by Event architecture. Food designer Marije Vogelzang’s kitchen will dish up happy food.

With thanks to: Gemeente Utrecht (department of Cultural Affairs and Projectbureau Leidsche Rijn), SKOR (Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte, Amsterdam), Ministerie van VROM (IPSV), Vrede van Utrecht, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, K F Hein Fonds and D2 Europa.


only in german

Pursuit of Happiness
Organisation: Bureau Beyond, Utrecht
Ort: Exhibition Pavilion Leidsche Rijn, Hogeweide 3-3b, Utrecht

Neue Arbeiten von Monica Bonvicini, Esra Ersen, Jakob Kolding, Guillaume Leblon, Erik van Lieshout, Claudia & Julia Müller, Tomas Saraceno, Castro / Olafsson, Barbara Visser

Filme und Videos von Sol Aramendi, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs, Loulou Chérinet, John Bock, Dagmar Keller & Marti Wittwer, Aernout Mik, Helena Muskens & Quirine Racke, Anri Sala, Corinna Schnitt, Santiago Sierra, Marijke van Warmerdam