Stefan Sagmeister: ‘The Happy Show’
Centred around the eccentric personality of New York-based graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, ‘The Happy Show’ at MAAT offers a series of ‘experiences’ through an abundance of wall text, videos of Sagmeister’s ad campaigns or experiments (see one film where he tries to offer a rose to a complete stranger in a New York crowd, forcing against his natural discomfort at soliciting strangers). Viewers are offered a card at the entrance with directions; one such reads: ‘Walk around the exhibit and pretend to be Stefan Sagmeister. Tell people about the work’, and bubble gum at the end. Mainly, Sagmeister’s wall writing illustrates the impossibility of pleasing everyone; the importance of remaining flexible when working on a project, or in making assumptions. MAAT tackles graver subject matters too in ‘Eco-Visionaries: Art and Architecture after the Anthropocene’, a show which hones in on the environmental transformations that are affecting our planet. Including 35 artists and architects, the exhibition is dense but colourful.
- Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva