Sunday, August 11, 2013

Brilliant flash mob sparks ideas

Brilliant flash mob sparks ideas  

by Norah Dooley

An acquaintance sent me this yesterday and I was enthralled. A flash mob fully realized and then enacted a back story to a very well known painting, Guards of the Night by Rembrandt in 1642. This past April this "flash mob" or guerilla theater event was a project of the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands to advertise with their slogan; "Our Heroes Are Back" that after an absence of one decade, all major pieces in the Rijksmuseum’s collection are back where they belong.

It helps to have the backing of a major multinational corporation when you want to document this intricate a staging. It looks like they had a dozen cameras and at least 2 dozen actors and free range of the mall to plan, rehearse and set props before the performance. When one desires to bring art to the people, a healthy budget makes smooth the way.  Still the really amazing part of the project, in my mind, was to inject a clear story into the staging. A gorgeous tableau would have been very effective but...the story, acted out in real time? Sheer brilliance. Imagine all the viewers talking to each other about the part of the story they actually were witness too.

And I wonder - did this elaborate staging work to get people to come to the actual art in the museum? Seems likely that it did since the prank itself garnered over 3 million views on youtube.
Guards of the Night Rembrandt 1642, Rijksmuseum, Netherlands

The videos show how they took one painting, a Rembrandt from 1642, Guards of the Night (above), and brought to life the characters in it, placed them throughout a busy mall and you can see for yourself how it all fell (literally) out.

Imagine what a group of storytellers with a lots of imagination or the backing of anybody or entity with deep pockets might be able to do? My mind is swimming with fun ideas.


Anonymous said...

Somehow that video brought tears to my eyes. When I ask myself why, the answer is not the Ode to Joy or the museum's clever advertising. I think that what was so moving was the wonder-filled response of just about everyone to the spontaneous, live, performance, to the magic of it, to the joyful, tumultuous unexpectedness of art and music (was the music part of the original performance, I wonder?) erupting into the everyday routines of their lives.
Are you resting? Mind as well as body, d'you hear? xxx

Carolyn Stearns said...

The word "Brilliant" in any color or font barely touches on the immense, rich, contagious VIRAL wonder of this! I might just watch it over and over all evening. So many little pieces converging in to the Masterpiece!

I'm inspired - look out world!