The Happy Show by Sagmeister is perhaps the most enjoyable user experience I have had in a museum setting … ever. Even before entering the main gallery the show begins. With text on the stairways, giant inflatable gorrilas on the mezzanine and curious cards that randomly ask entrants to clap profusely or text a joke to a certain number, The Happy Show is a declaration of dissent. This is not the museum experience your parents promised you.
The elevators have perverse drawings on them and small mundane components of the museum are given voices and personalities.
Part installation, part journal entry, part forensic study, the exhibition is both playful and stunning. Mixing data from Harvard sanctioned experts to validate the confessional musings of Sagmesieter, the show feels like a playground of the artists’ mind.
Bicycle powered neon signs, typographic film studies, interactive video projections of words in a spiderweb, snippets of video clips from his new documentary The Happy Film, ginger candy, and infographics about sex. This exhibition has it all!
What I like most about The Happy Show, and Sagmeister’s work in general, is the simplicity of his typography and its ability to convey meaning. If Carlos Castaneda and Saul Bass had a love child it would be Sagmeister. I would love to see a Sagmeister comic book, I wonder what his sense of sequencing is like. Would the characters be made out of words? If you are in Los Angeles in Spring 2013, go see this show. It will brighten your day and fulfill the promise of its name.