5/ Be Piet, 2017

Installation 

Museumplein 

Amsterdam

 

wood panel (2,44 x 1,22 meters)

Interactive installation, Be Piet took place - without permission - on the busy public square Museumplein, in Amsterdam on December 6, 2017. Creating confusion during the celebration of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaass), a tradition resulting in a phenomenon of «blackface «, The artist produced a photo header panel reversing the roles. Normally represented as an old white man on his (white) horse, Sinterklaass became an old black man. Black Piet, a young clerk carrying all the children’s presents, lost his face here, inviting those who accepted Sinterklaass’s new identity to replace him.

Offering a new version of the story, the panel served for photos of about 450 models during the day. Finally confiscated by the Rijkst museum, it is probably part of the museum’s archives.

© 2020 courtesy of the artist Davide Christelle Sanvee

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