The Pursuit of Happiness

Wim Melis

A man comes into this world. And then?

While big events and great structures dominate the news, every day the individual enters into his small battles with life, yearning for happiness, recognition, or just a bit of satisfaction. In The Pursuit of Happiness Noorderlicht curator Wim Melis puts seventy photographs by as many photographers next to one another, conjuring up an equivocal picture of the search for a place of one’s own, one’s own significance. These are the private news moments that never make the newspapers or magazines – the rare personal victories and the unavoidable defeats, the light and shadow of life.

In this wry, sometimes tragicomic but always intriguing exhibition, the viewer is challenged to calculate the cost of happiness.

Venue: Academie Minerva 'Praediniussingel'
(Former Nature museum) 


Johnny Amore (DE), Brigitte Bauer (DE), Peter van Beek & Henri Brekveld (NL), Nina Berman (Laif) (US), Martin Bogren (SE), Nathalie Bothur (DE), Laura Boushnak (KW), Susan Bozic (CA), Alejandro Chaskielberg (AR), Bertrand Cottet (CH), Chong Dai (CN), Nathalie Daoust (CA), Pedro David (BR), James Whitlow Delano (US/JP), Stephen Dupont (AU), Kris van Exel (BE), Jenny Gaulitz (SE), Kevin German (US), Reinier Gerritsen (NL),Brigitte Grignet (BE), Emmanuel Guillaud (JP), Conny Habbel (DE), Katharina Hesse (DE), Elis Hoffman (SE), Sohrab Hura (IN), Mathilde Jansen (NL), Yevgeny Kondakov (RU), Thomas Lekveldt (DK), Tatiana Leshkina (Russian Tearoom) (RU), Sebastien Loubatie (FR), Benjamin Lowy (US), Stefano de Luigi (DE), Rania Matar (LB), Andreas Meichsner (DE), Paula Muhr (YU), Sofie Nagels (BE), Sandy Nicholson (AU), Matthew Niederhauser (US), Mads Nissen (DK), Nick Nostitz (DE), Soonhwa Oh (KP), Richard Pak (FR), Irina Popova (Fotodepartament Foundation Saint-Petersburg) (RU), Philip Poupin (FR), Bruno Quinquet (FR), Susana Raab (PE), Katarina Radovic (YU), Agnieszka Rayss (PL), Marc Renaud (CH), Daniel Rosenthal (Laif) (DE), Denis Rouvre (FR), Ruth & Samsonoff (FR), Bastienne Schmidt (DE), Corinne Silva (GB), Matej Sitar (SI), Kerry Skarbakka (US), Martin Specht (DE), Andrea Stern (US), Jens Sundheim & Kathryn Baingo (DE), Flore-Ael Surun (FR), Paczai Tamas (RO), Wei Leng Tay (SG), Andrew Testa (GB), Amy Touchette (US), David Trattles (Reportage Editing) (CA), Jim Turbert (US), Sarah Van den Elsken (BE), Valentina Zanobelli (IT)