Happiness and Pretence

from Bernard Lamarche, Katalog Manif d’art 2, Québec, Kanada 2004
p.28(français) / p.248 (english) about the works: MORE!  und Alles gute kommt von oben

Happiness is in the Image

In Alles Gute kommt von oben, a video installation whose title may be translated all good things comes from heaven, Philipp Gasser places visitors in front of an interactive installation that tenders a rather derisory power. A male figure stand before us, revolving, visibly within for an event to occur. When viewers push a red button, the figure, suddenly haloed in what appears to be a heavenly glow, raises his arms in seeming expectation. Other than making light appear, nothing else happens; manna does not fall from the skies. Push the button once again, and the figure resumes turning. The artwork is disarmingly simple, but its mechanisms give us the illusory, godlike sensation of potentially being able to dole out happiness at will to someone marked by complete candor.

Gasser’s second piece for the Manif, while not providing a metaphor of divine power or showing fate at the mercy of another’s fancy, nevertheless lends itself to further exploration of what may be described as the mystical aspect of the quest for happiness. A short, digitally animated video, MORE! plays with the idea of relentless beginnings. Once the idea of a journey suggested, endlessly the main character, Gasser himself, comes forward to endlessly repeat the same gesture, placing at the foot of a tree a mysterious, highly symbolic object: a brain, a house or a wheel. Each time the action is repeated, the character is strangely engulfed in a mysterious light…

Bernard Lamarche
Happiness and pretence
Le bonheur est dans l’image,
p.28(français) / p.248 (english)
Katalog Manif d’art 2, Québec,
Kanada 2004