Paolo Woods & Arnaud Robert


13. May 2023 25. June 2023

The definition of happiness has long been left to religions, philosophers, or even politics. Today, the answer to the universal quest lies more and more in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. It uses all the instruments of the modern age – science, marketing and communication – to offer each and every one of us a standardized and automatic solution for our well-being, our health and our performance. It seems to have become a duty to constantly feel and radiate happiness.

For five years, photographer Paolo Woods and journalist Arnaud Robert investigated the consumption of »happy pills« around the world: those medicines that can heal an invisible wound, those substances that make people get active, that help them work and pick themselves up, those preparations that enable people with mental health problems to avoid a total breakdown. The global interconnections of the pharmaceutical industry with social media-influenced notions of modern lifestyles are ubiquitous: from Niger to the United States, from Switzerland to India, from Israel to the Peruvian Amazon, pills offer short-term solutions to the seemingly eternal problems of everyday life.

The exhibition was curated by Miriam Zlobinski.

All accompanying events can be found here.

Sponsored by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL with funds from the


Image: Home Pharma, Switzerland 2016 © Gabriele Galimberti