Laura Moreton-Griffiths

1930s Budapest, Hungary was in the grips of a suicide craze. Throughout Europe there was political turmoil, economic crisis and desperate poverty (not unlike today). Professor Jeno and Binczo, a hypnotist – jokingly started ‘Smile Club’ to teach people to smile like Hollywood stars. They believed that the physical process of smiling would enhance mood and counteract the problem. Somehow it caught on.

This series of photographs makes reference to Jeno and Binczo’s ‘Smile Club’. Titled ‘Machine For Winning’ the painting performed uses dark humour to tell tales about the psychology of control and ideology – people as machines, their emotions coordinated so that they act as required, do not think or speak, and smile. Olympian ideals of peaceful competition and internationalism cynically exploited.

Laura Moreton-Griffiths


Machine For Winning: Marching


Machine For Winning: Beam


Machine For Winning: Brutalist Chimney


Machine For Winning: Sandpit Headstand


Machine For Winning: Spectators


Machine For Winning: Rings


Machine For Winning: Dictator


Machine For Winning: Monolith


Machine For Winning: High Dive Tanoy


Machine For Winning: Brutalism

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