The Happy Man (Part 5)

The Happy Man. . . or so I have heard myself called (Part V), 2015

Part V of XII: single-channel video projection (silent). 9:05 min.


video still, from Part V of 'The Happy Man...or so I have heard myself called

In Part V of The Happy Man…or so I have heard myself called, British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor Harold Pinter (1930–2008) responds to a question posed to him in a 2001 interview in The Progressive, conducted by Anne-Marie Cusac: "Did anything happen to you early on that changed your life?"

A silent video in twelve parts, The Happy Man draws upon the personal statements of celebrated writers as they reflect on influences, accomplishments, failures, hopes, shortcomings, beliefs, and the elusiveness of happiness in their creative lives. These writerly meditations, sourced from published interviews, are staged against images of artworks taken in museum collections. The work's title draws upon a 1946 journal entry in the diaristic prose poem Le Savon, translated as Soap, (1969), by French poet and essayist Francis Ponge (1899–1988) who wrote, “‘FRANCIS PONGE, or the happy man’: so I have heard myself called.”

This work has been generously supported by a Brown Foundation Fellowship at Dora Maar House.

Click HERE to watch Part V of 'The Happy Man'...or so I have heard myself called on Vimeo