I PLAY, THEREFORE I AM
If the Covid restrictions have told us one thing, it's that life isn't that fun if only our basic needs are met. And don’t take this the wrong way, gratitude is in place if all our basic needs are met, but what makes life worth living? What is there to life beyond survival?
Perhaps we should broaden the definition of basic needs. What if we think of play as an essential part of life? In 1938 the philosopher Huizinga coined the term Homo Ludens: the 'man player'. The human as a creative, playing person, free from work and free from boundaries. He argues that we should take play seriously (but not too seriously). Being a Homo Ludens means being free, because only in freedom can play unfold and culture develop.
Many artists have been inspired by the idea of Homo Ludens. Katrin Korfmann for example, who used the term of Huizinga for a series of her assembled photographs. In this series you see children at play from above, running, jumping rope, or engaged in a ball game.
Play is often seen as a children’s activity, but it doesn’t have to be! This selection of artworks is an example of what it can look like now that we can slowly free ourselves from restrictions. Gathering with friends, going on a trip, and dancing at a party: this selection is about exorcising our Covid selves and channeling our inner artist. After years of restriction, it’s time for play!