L’Art du Bonheur: Rituals of Domesticity in VideoSchetsboek, Pink 1983
Pink de Thierry (1943-2023)
This contribution analyses Pink’s artwork VideoSchetsboek (1983), a performance part of the project L’Art du Bonheur, which shows the same ‘De Koning family’ repeatedly in different interiors within the same street by means of a series of photographs and videos. The emphasis on ritual and domesticity in this series explains its recent inclusion in the collection of the Royal Antiquarian Society (KOG). The ideals of the KOG after its foundation in 1858 reflected, for example through the Atlas of Manners and Customs, those of a nineteenth-century society in which an orderly interior was seen as a core value: domestic happiness was deemed to be good for the development of the nation. Those values changed after 1900 with discussions about individuality and a sense of taste. With the increasing prosperity in the second half of the twentieth century, it became possible for everyone to furnish a home interior as a reflection of their own identity. Pink’s work questions this individualization. Since 1980, the values attributed to marriage and family have declined sharply and all kinds of alternative types of households and discussions about them have arisen. In conjunction with the KOG’s older collections, Pink’s work makes it possible to gain insight into this ever changing culture of living and its domestic rituals and provides context to discussions on their meaning.
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