Exhibitions

Paolo Woods & Arnaud Robert

Happy Pills

Curated by François Hébel

© Arnaud Robert / Paolo Woods

© Arnaud Robert / Paolo Woods

© Arnaud Robert / Paolo Woods

The task of defining happiness has long been delegated to religions, philosophies or even politics. Today this universal quest seems more and more to be the province of the pharmaceutical industry, which uses all of the tools of the modern age (science, marketing and communication) to offer everyone a standardized and automatic response to this ultimate human aspiration. More than ever, to be happy is a duty. For five years, journalist Arnaud Robert and photographer Paolo Woods travelled the world in search of Happy Pills, those drugs that can repair an invisible wound, those substances that can make people take action, help them to work and to get it up, those formulations that allow the depressed to avoid total collapse, the painkillers that the working poor gobble down so that they can keep on feeding their families. Everywhere, from Niger to the United States, from Switzerland to India, from Israel to the Peruvian Amazon, Big Pharma has acted to provide immediate solutions where once there were only eternal problems.

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