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Oh! Happy Days (Oh Les Beaux Jours)

2012, Polyurethane foam, polyester fiber, and acrylic latex paint
Gift of the D.Daskalopoulos Collection donated jointly to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Photos © David Heald

Inspired by Samuel Beckett’s homonymous play and Paul Verlaine’s poem Oh les beaux jours.

Ever since I’ve been shaving velvet, I’ve never been able to throw away the lint. Without knowing why, I have been collecting and storing this material with great care for years…

In Becket’s play, Winnie is slowly buried in the soil that swallows her up and she, extremely adaptable and strong, continues to chatter until the end, sucking the last “breath” of life. In my own Happy Days, however, there is no Winnie. The main character is the time measured by accumulated fluff. It forms two mountains, whichcontinue their upward path with the dust that settles.

Two mountains made out of time.