Rachel Filler‘s Do I make you happy more than I make you sad? is a sort of celebration of youthful friendship and relationships. In the faces and gestures, I see some of the exuberance and wonder I felt, like, 20 years ago, and I simultaneously miss that feeling and am glad to be beyond it now…

The Dashwood blurb says

…confronts the tender spot one finds themselves in when they get truly close to someone; when the good and the bad surface equally. When you begin to look deeply inward and ask yourself, ‘is this really working?’ and you feel the temptation to ask that other person if it is worth it for them as well. Filler’s photographs work through the complexities of those interpersonal relationships, ultimately deciding to have faith in and cherish them, good or bad.

Dashwood Books publisher’s blurb.

I’m not sure I get all that out of it, really. There are mostly cheerful expressions, really. One of the characters (a friend maybe?) has a sort of downcast expression, and another is painted as a sad clown or harlequin, and one image depicts a couple in a tender embrace of comfort or resolution, but overall, it seems to be a mostly upbeat, gleeful exercise.

But, then, I’m a jaded and bitter middle-aged man and I probably just don’t get it.


Copies appear to remain available from Dashwood, and you can view the project in its entirety on Filler’s website. And check out her other work while you’re there. There’s some good stuff there, for sure.

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