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Edwin Stolk ☰

A life changing experience
Saturday 22 January 2011, 3 pm - 3.30 pm

'A life changing experience' was a flash mob at the Appel Art Centre in Amsterdam. It was a re-enactment of a queue that was there in the Ferdinand Bolstraat when the museum re-opened on this location in 2010. This work was part of a collaboration with the artists Loek Grootjans, Alicia Framis and other lecturers of the Sandberg Institute. This action was related to the tradition of 'happenings' and depending most of all on the generous support of all the participants who were queueing all together.

'A life changing experience' was inspired by statements of the state secretary of education and culture Halbe Zijlstra (VVD) in the Netherlands. This state secretary had announced on public television to make governmental subsidies for museums depended on the amount of visitors they attracted. At the same time the Appel Art Centre was publicly accused in the media to attract too less visitors and only a small group of insiders at the exhibitions openings.

It was unclear in advance whether enough people would respond to my call to form a long queue together. What I wanted to organize was a long and alive line of people waiting to connect the heart of the museum with the world outside in the street. To make a political statement everyone would disappear in the city after half an hour.

Many people answered the call and a long human line filled the corridors of the museum reaching far outside on the street. It was a successful experiment and strong statement in a highly individualized society like the Dutch that it is still possible to make a difference together.

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Best regards, Edwin Stolk.

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