Happiness | Dries Verhoeven

Happiness | Dries Verhoeven

Visit the illicit pharmacy from 4 - 18 August

At Strijp-S, you’ll find a small, concrete building that at first sight seems to be a mix between a public toilet and a pharmacy. As you step inside, you are welcomed by a humanoid: a human-looking robot.

She runs this illicit pharmacy and educates her visitors without judgment on the use of various drugs and medications such as XTC, painkillers and antidepressants which we can use to tweak our emotional reality by re-jigging the serotonin and dopamine levels in our brain. Synthetic substances that help us rehumanize, become more than human or even for a while escape our human state of being entirely.

Now that recreational drug use in the nightlife scene has become mainstream and the stigma on antidepressants is beginning to disappear, Happiness explores how this influences our notion of what emotions are and to what extent our feelings are malleable.

Where: Outside MU at Torenallee | When: 4 - 18 August during opening hours | Entrance: both visitors of our current exhibition Real Feelings, as well as curious passers-by are invited to pay the pharmacy a visit

concept: Dries Verhoeven
production: Studio Dries Verhoeven
dramaturgy: Hella Godee
creation humanoid: Chris Creatures Filmeffects
digital puppeteering: Stefano Trambusti
voice: Annie Saunders
sound design: Jimi Zoet
understudy: Yurie Umamoto
costume: Saskia Schoenmaker
technique: Roel Evenhuis
software: Sylvain Vriens

Happiness is co-commissioned by SPRING Festival Utrecht and NDSM-werf foundation, and is made possible with the support of BPD Cultuurfonds, Fonds Fentener van Vlissingen, stimuleringsfonds creatieve industrie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, BNG Cultuurfonds, Fonds Podiumkunsten and Gemeente Utrecht. 

Photography: Willem Popelier