The Greatest Happiness Principle Party

Exhibition view textiles m hka 2009 23

Alice Creischer


Installation, 50 x 900 cm, 300 x 80 cm.
Materials: 7 life-sized wooden silhouettes, 1 textile banner, 9 drawings, some textile - clothed in various costumes

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. UFO53).

The Greatest Happiness Principle Party stages a fictional party thrown by the Austrian Credit Institute in 1931, a bank that was heavily involved in financial speculation in the Balkan region during that period. The party is thrown at a time when the Austrian Credit Institute is on the brink of bankruptcy, an event which will trigger the second major world economic recession. The scene presents an ensemble of figures whose talk includes discussion of Jeremy Bentham’s Fabric of Felicity a utilitarian theory of happiness. Behind them two cloakroom attendants instigate a militant investigation into the consequences of this bankruptcy, one of which is the impact it will have on European strategies of German capital and the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and the expansion of the market economy model.

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