My Happiness Depends on You, Charlotte Ruppert & Johanna Maj Schmidt, 2019

MY HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON YOU

 

"My Happiness Depends On You" is another performance by Charlotte Ruppert and me. It was part of the exhibition „1937-2017 Von Entarteter Kunst zu Entstellter Kunst“ (From Degenerate Art to Deformed/Defaced Art: https://www.hgb-leipzig.de/einrichtungen/galerie/galerie-archiv/2019vonentarteterkunstzuentstellterkunst).

 

As a doubled figure inspired by Dolly Parton, we are sitting on a huge grey plastic box that we found in the exhibition. We are wearing wedding gowns, wavy-blond long-haired wigs, eccentric makeup and have grotesquely big fake boobs (aka female monstrosity). We are holding begging bowls in our hands, which are usually used in churches for the collection. Once in a while we are bleating “My happiness depends on you!” (from Dolly Parton's “Jolene”) hauntingly in chorus. In doing so we are starring into the eyes of one visitor each intensely/fury-like/expectantly. The sentence “My happiness depends on you” hints at the ambiguous relationship between dependency and independency. If the Heroic claims some sort of singularity by the self-sacrifice of one single, strong (man) for the sake of an ideology, a (feminist) response to the emphasis on the outstanding genious/hero, would be a reversion to interdependence. So, the sentence “My happiness depends on you” could be seen, positively, as an anti-heroic preaching or, negatively, as voluntary submission.

© Johanna Maj Schmidt 2020