Flash Mob Brings Rembrandt to Life

night-watch-250

Last April, the Rijksmuseum, the Museum of Netherlands, and their major sponsor ING celebrated the reopening of the museum after lengthy renovations by organizing a unique flash mob.  They recreated one of Rembrandt’s most famous works, the Night Watch, in a shopping mall.

The performance is a delight to watch but it also does two things.  It challenges our conception of what a “flash mob” is and shows that these new social phenomenon can be used in creative ways that expand our vision. This is because it creates the sense of depth and story captured in the well-known work. While it achieves the goal of bringing art to the people to encourage them to come to the museum, it also provides an experience that can unlock a whole new level of understanding by transforming the images into actors with intent. These masterpieces—and art in general—are not just ‘pictures’ but representations of larger stories. Seeing them animated with such care and authenticity can encourage viewers to take a deeper look beyond the surface.

Because of that, this video might make a nice tool for teachers trying to make art history seem relevant and come alive in the classroom

Behind the scenes

These kinds of events aren’t easy to pull-off.  If you want to get a small peak at the amount of behind the scenes effort for a one minute production, watch this video. (FYI – It’s in Dutch.)

Cross-posted on Psychology Today at Positively Media

About Dr. Pamela Rutledge

Pamela Rutledge is Director of the Media Psychology Research Center. She consults on a variety of media and marketing projects bringing together the ancient art of storytelling and cutting edge science of human behavior.

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