In ‘Happy Sad’ (2019) Daan Gielis registrates mutually exclusive feelings that contradict each other while also keeping each other alive. The work suggests that the quest for consistency or even a way out of the contradictory world we live in will not be an easy task.
For this, Gielis appropriates the incredibly empty and gratuite sign system of emoji, a recurring theme in his work. It embodies the paradox in which our social life is entangled: expressing a deeply personal story in an unforgiving generic language.
In ‘Happy Sad’, happiness and sadness coincide, the traditional smiley face is combined with an inverted smile. Neither one nor the other, but both.
'Happy Sad' is on show in our Antwerp city garden as from December 2019.