Happiness without freedom or freedom without happiness

“happiness without freedom or freedom without happiness” – video still, 2016

““Those two, in paradise, were given a choice: happiness without freedom or freedom without happiness. There was no third option” – four channel video installation, 10 min video loop, HD, color, stereo, 2016

“Paradise,’ he began, and the p meant a spray. ‘The old legend about Paradise—that was about us, about right now. Yes! Just think about it. Those two in Paradise, they were offered a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness, nothing else. Those idiots chose freedom. And then what? Then for centuries they were homesick for the chains. That’s why the world was so miserable, see? They missed the chains. For ages! And we were the first to hit on the way to get back to happiness. No, wait … listen to me. The ancient God and us, side by side, at the same table. Yes! We helped God finally overcome the Devil—because that’s who it was that pushed people to break the commandment and taste freedom and be ruined. It was him, the wily serpent. But we gave him a boot to the head! Crack! And it was all over: Paradise was back. And we’re simple and innocent again, like Adam and Eve. None of those complications about good and evil: Everything is very simple, childishly simple —Paradise! The Benefactor, the Machine, the Cube, the Gas Bell, the Guardians: All those things represent good, all that is sublime, splendid, noble, elevated, crystal pure. Because that is what protects our nonfreedom, which is to say, our happiness.” – Yevgeny Zamyatin

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