Magic Dozen - The Opening
Updated: Jul 19
The exhibition "Magic Dozen - Street Art in Amsterdam Nieuw-West" was designed to portray SAMA’s collection through a mix of inside and outside artifacts. It is an exhibition designed to showcase SAMA's collection of ephemeral artworks and the souvenirs around them, whilst challenging the ‘white cube’ model, playing with inside and outside, using, as exhibition spaces, diverse locations in our neighbourhood and combining multimedia content, objects, and the original street art pieces of our collection.
In the Dutch museum sector, which is predominantly object-driven, there is no room for street art right now, as this art form belongs to the streets and not inside controlled environments. SAMA’s mission is to carve such space through new museology practices, drawing attention to the valuable contribution these artists made to Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
Our first object-orientated exhibition, unlike other commercial shows portraying street art through canvas and objects, is therefore part of a larger narrative that aims to highlight the multifaceted ability of the 12 protagonists, adding a complementary layer of information to the street artworks that live on the streets. We hoped to inspire not only the visitor to the exhibition but also those using each of the locations on a regular basis to go outside and explore the collection as well as the beautiful streets of Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Slotermeer/Geuzenveld.
The visitor is guided by the Booklet, which contains a map with the 3 locations and the artworks of the 12 protagonists still living on our streets. We divided the show of the content and physical objects between 3 locations - New Metropolis, SAMA’s HQ, and DOCK - all of which are on the route of SAMA’s main collection on the streets. The first location hosts books and artworks gifted to the founder of SAMA at the very beginning of this magical adventure, photographs and information about the Pioneers in our collection. The story of Innovators is told through the extended media, technology and gaming and can be found in SAMA HQ, the 2nd location on the visitors’ route. The last location is an intimate encounter with the neighbourhood highlighting the impact of the Educators through publications in local papers, artwork produced in Amsterdam on found objects and a free give away.
The opening of the exhibition "Magic Dozen - Street Art in Amsterdam Nieuw-West" took place on Sunday, the 12th of July 2020, and was performed as 'The Spectacle' mixing storytelling, food, art and culture.
In order to adhere to the RIVM rules and ensure a healthy environment for our guests, the opening was divided into 2 slots and hosted the first 24 visitors, whereby every participant had to register in order to join the parade.
The Spectacle started at New Metropolis where the participants were introduced to the concept of the exhibition, accompanied by fresh biological berries from the local eco-farm. The large screen TV is playing a video of Cleaver Cunnigham painting Bob Marley on the SAMA wall. The delicately cut stencils of Btoy are available for close examination for the first time in Amsterdam’s history. Lunar’s Book on loan for this event by Minivila is also available for viewing. Kenor’s precision and ability to abstract can be seen through 2 types of different prints and a photograph of the famous TrainLodge carriage.
After some 45 minutes, we marched together through the historical architectural legacy of Van Eesteren and explored some of the street art pieces on the route.
From a pacy walk of 1,7 km, the guests stepped into SAMA’s KITCHEN where they were received with traditional Italian pizza and soft drinks.
At SAMA’s HQ, besides getting in touch with the research and selection of relevant books from SAMA’s extensive library, the visitors also had a chance to explore the digital side of street art. Virtual Reality Memory Capsule can be experienced through SAMA’s Oculus glasses, where a visitor rises above the neighbourhood on the 22 meters high elevator with Bastardilla during her production of the monumental painting we named “Memories”. An exclusive poster donated by Pez can be magically transformed into a psychedelic funfair by applying a layer of Augmented Reality through Mussa application. The only digital artwork in the collection is a tribute to local football hero Nouri by Uriginal can also be seen during this exhibition, before it is officially handed over to him and his family at the end of August. SUSO33’s unique skill of painting with his full body is available on SAMA tablet for up close and personal viewing.
On the way to our last stop, only 1 km down the road, the spectators got to see classic Dutch art in open space - series of murals made out of 4 letters “WEST” and compare it to the complexity of the mural “Memories” by Bastardilla and a small but extremely powerful piece by Btoy, a portrait of Lana Turner.
Across the road, on the Confucius Playground, we finished the spartan journey on a comfortable sofa of Stichting DOCK with Moroccan mint tea and famous Şerifoğlu baklava. DOCK is an important social actor and a lively community space, where SAMA often conducts workshops, such as the Midzomer Mokum program.
We start this section of the exhibition with Stinkfish’s impact on the neighbourhood represented by different media documentation of the mural Fatherhood, demolished at the beginning of 2020. Orticanoodles items allow the visitor to compare stencil techniques at a close view. One of Angelo Campos’ artworks from the OUTFLOW solo show in SAMA portrays the imagery of his local community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last but not least, TeamBlazin’s gift to SAMA is being shared with the visitors through the download of a poster available in two colours with the quote by Keith Haring “The future of art rests on our shoulders”. The poster is based on the artwork on SAMA’s HQ mural created for Blikopeners Summer School by Stedelijk Museum.
Exhausted yet happy, full of new knowledge, the visitors were allowed to tag SAMA’s Rotating Wall thus becoming part of the communal artwork to be completed by the end of the exhibition and Midzomer Mokum Street Art School.
With participants from different backgrounds, from street art enthusiasts to museum professionals, the day was full of interesting conversations and great feedback.
“Thanks for the tour yesterday, really nice to meet you, see your work and your enthusiasm! Let’s keep in touch.”
Geertje Smeding, Groninger Museum
“It was a great afternoon.”
Karla Olgers, Lecturer in History of Art and Fashion at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and City Guide
“The oculus rift was a very nice experience. Good luck with the exhibition. Keep up the good work”
Ralf Hesen, digital strategy guru and a passionate musician/founder of Lemon
THE LESSONS LEARNED/IMPROVEMENTS
The opening allowed us to understand how visitors experience the exhibition and how we can improve the user journey, translating the complex experience that mixes inside, outside, street art, and varied media into an accessible learning adventure. The next developments for the Magic Dozen include making Dutch translations of all the text produced for the exhibition.
In order to have a positive and comfortable experience we advise:
Bring your own face mask - Hand sanitizers are provided in the 3 locations.
Bring your glasses - There are a lot of interesting information to read and details to see during the exhibition, so do not forget to bring your prescription glasses.
Start your journey at New Metropolis - At New Metropolis the Booklet guide of the exhibition is available.
Take the booklet with you - The Booklet was designed to guide your journey and are available for free at New Metropolis.
Because the locations are used by others, sometimes access will be limited: FIND THE OPENING TIMES SCHEDULE HERE
Allow yourself 30-45 minutes per location
We advise you to do the visit by bike - With a bike, you are able to visit all the 3 locations of the exhibition and see the street art pieces in around 3 hours.
In case you would like to go through the exhibition by walking please count on an estimated 5 hours for the total duration of the visit.
The exhibition will be running until the 30 of August 2020 and can be visited for free! Learn more about the exhibition HERE