At Gunpoint - Under Vapenhot
from Happiness as an Art-project
Ahlbergshallen, Östersund 22 Oct - 7 Nov, 2004

During January thru June 2004 Allberg spent in Johannesburg, South Africa. On a SIDA-scholarship she studied at the Department of Fine Arts of University of the Witwatersrand. Her difficulties to find happiness in that society, as extremely stricken by criminality as Johannesburg is, made her begin her work on the Happiness as an Art-project.

What do people think about happiness when they have to protect themselves with weapons and behind high walls? By those sked some stated that Johannesburg is exciting and that they would probably not stand to live anywhere else... This
made Allberg curious, so she joined two friends to a shooting-range. When she almost hit a Bull's
Eye with her very first shot she was overwhelmed by happiness, for the first time in more than two
months. Later on she was struck by ambivalence; why getting happy from symbolically shooting
someone to death?

Philosophical as well as medical literature was consulted and a connection between happiness
and violence was clearly documented. Even though we would not like to see it there is it a fact that others's suffering can make us happy (schadenfreude). Most of all it is about the fact that when humans achieve their goal (whatever it may be)we feel great satisfaction. This contrast resulted in Allberg's Master's-degree exhibition from the academy of fine arts, Umeå university, At
It was exhibited in Gallery 60, in January 2002 and as one of four parts of Happiness as an Art-project in Östersund

For a close-up of the paintings, please click here!

© MalinMatilda Allberg 2005

At Gunpoint, Umeå, 2002 Happiness as an Art-project Johannesburg, RSA