martin firrell

instructions for a happier life

august 2001

leicester square

Instructions for a Happier Life was commissioned and presented by Clear Channel UK on an experimental four storey LED screen in the North-Western corner of Leicester Square.

The project aimed to outline an agenda for living happily in a large urban centre like London.

Ideas explored included the phenomena of dependency and love (Never Confuse Love with Owning a Dog); the need for courage in order to be happy (Why Settle for a Happy Medium When You Can Have a Happy Extreme); and the Stoic concept of acceptance of that which you cannot change (Learn to Love Rain).

Texts were presented with animated graphics and bold use of colour to reflect the kinds of pictograms used in international instruction manuals.

Never Fall for Someone With a Body to Diet For aimed to debunk the myth of the body beautiful as a route to love, happiness and fulfilment.

Presented in a dominant position in the main tourist thoroughfare of Leicester Square adjacent to Soho, this work spoke in particular to the gay fixation with youth and physical perfection.

Never Fall For Someone With a Body to Diet For hints at the risks associated with inauthenticity, and the struggle to live up to an ideal rather than embracing the embodied, flawed, feeling totality of another human being.