The writing is on the walls…literally. Scribbled all over the MOV’s latest exhibit.
If you could rate your overall happiness on a scale between 1 and 10 (10 being the highest score), what would it be? If you were given a post-it note to write down what makes you happy, what would you write? If you had to choose your happiest activity (besides having sex) what would you do?
You might be surprised to find out that attending a religious service ranked higher than having sex, according to a happiness graph meter at the Museum of Vancouver’s (MOV) latest exhibit appropriately entitled “THE HAPPY SHOW.”
Not being the religious type, I was surprised but not totally shocked since happiness means different things to different people. Although when it comes to relationships with other people like family and friends, it seems we are all the same in rating it highest for personal happiness.
I was happy to be inside the MOV on an unpredictable Vancouver day that had periods of rain, hail and everything else in between. Snippets of happiness include gumballs and ginger candy which were at the exhibit and made everything better. This show is interesting, introspective, interactive and informative. However, the exhibit will not make you happier or take away any anxieties. A couple of hours spent there flew by so quickly.
The exhibit reflects a 10-year exploration of happiness by award-winning designer, Stefan Sagmeister. Sagmeister’s clients include HBO, the Rolling Stones (he designed album covers for them among other groups) and the Guggenheim Museum. He has also delivered several popular and disarming TED talks, a few of which you can watch and listen to (with headphones) at this exhibit. You will also get a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-released documentary, The Happy Film (depicting experiments with meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals) which I will definitely go
A few interactive tidbits:
My friend and I were looking at a graph that indicated the happiness levels of those who were single, to those who were married or in a relationship. It claimed that men, if given the complete freedom to do exactly as they please, would do exactly as they please (surprise, surprise). A woman standing right behind me sighed and said “so true; my husband left me for my best friend.” She was on the low end of the happiness meter.
Then while reading a wall that said the ancient Indian Sanskrit language contains sixteen words for happiness, while German includes none…..a man visiting from Germany standing right behind me said that that’s not true. The German language apparently has three words and he wrote them down for me. glücklich (happy), freude (which actually means pleasure) and frohlich (merry). So I learned three German words today which mean almost the same thing – which made me somewhat happier to know.
We had to pick a random card. My chosen card told me to try to make a stranger in the museum smile. Does laughing count?
Photos: d. king