In the video-installation ‘Happyland’, Authentic Boys artist collective define five groups of travellers and the paths they tread toward personal happiness. One group is homely, another rebels against society, and the others either seek hardship, glamorous luxury, or the purity of nature. What their journeys have in common is a search for the authentic self: a mystical tour and profound existential quest for self-realisation. In this regard, these contemporary tourists are reminiscent of the pilgrims of yesteryear.
Authentic Boys humorously portray the vacationers, interspersing serious contemplation with playful rebellion. Unbuttoned T-shirts on tanned chests with shiny necklaces, camping folklorists, outdoor men, and backpackers are all scrutinised. Authentic Boys light-heartedly portray the stereotypical characters of tourist subcultures at a time when travel, tourism, and global industry are in decline, and the sharing of our foreign and exotic experiences is done using the social media platforms through which we constantly communicate.
Authentic Boys is an international collective of artists: the performers Gregory Stauffer and Johannes Dullin (Geneva and Berlin) and the filmmakers Boris van Hoof and Aaike Stuart (Rotterdam and Berlin). Formed in 2007, they work on projects that humorously and intuitively respond to their immediate surroundings. Under the title ‘Performing Life’, they also initiate social and educational projects in cooperation with museums, galleries, and schools.
The exhibition was curated by Jesse van Oosten.
Happyland was made possible by Pro Helvetia