Tracking Our Happiness - MQ Summer Talks 2021
MuseumsQuartier Wien invites various people to share their personal approach to the Covid-19 crisis. The results are surprising and intimate insights into our collective frame of mind during the pandemic.
Tough months are behind us. But with summer having arrived, there is also collective relief. The joy of getting a bit closer to our old lives can be felt all over the city.
Still, the pandemic has left its mark. Until now, our motto has been ‘hang on!’: We had to repress our fears, our wounds and desires, and put aside our emotions and needs. We simply kept going. Now that the worst months of the pandemic are behind us, the question remains: What now? How do we process what happened? How do we look back at this period of time?
With the interview series Tracking Our Happiness, MuseumsQuartier Wien creates a safe space, inviting people to let go and reflect. Various conversations capture people’s moods at MuseumsQuartier this summer 2021.
The portico at MQ Haupthof (main courtyard) is the chosen place for these dialogues: a half visible, half hidden space which offers the interviewees protection while, at the same time, creates a mostly acoustic connection to the visitors and the things going on in the main courtyard. Surrounded by the background noise of the courtyard, the interviewees sit down on a piece of ‘MQ monster furniture’, which is a bit reminiscent of a therapy couch. This shaggy, cheerful piece of furniture allows them to abandon rational thought for a while. Their own needs and emotions take centre stage. This environment facilitates personal conversations and intimate insights while also allowing for shared silence.
The language of psychology is becoming more and more present in everyday life. Online or offline, in friendships and relationships, and in activism: We are ‘seeking and finding our centre’, we ‘are present’, or we ‘distance ourselves’. The increasing mingling of therapy language and everyday language raises new questions: Does this make these words lose their value? Or does a vocabulary of (self-)reflection help us break down existing taboos relating to mental health? Observing our own feelings and putting them into words – that will be possible during the ‘monster couch’ conversations as well.
We all contribute to this summer’s multifaceted atmosphere. The talk series aims to be a contemporary document of a ‘new normal’, of a global crisis in which we need to find orientation.