'Make Over' is a remake of a TV programme on this theme in which people who are discontented about their appearance undergo a complete transformation and appear as new people before a TV audience. In response to an advertisement, nine volunteers have been found who are unhappy with the way they look. They will be given a professional restyling by the stylists of the trendsetters House of Orange and UNIT; hairstyles, make up and clothes will all be changed. The volunteers will be allowed to keep their new outfits. The clothes have been donated by agnès b., SO by Alexander van Slobbe, and Laundry Industry. With Make Over, Otto Berchem links fashion, art and commerce, and adopts the position of director, editor and producer. He employs his artistic practice to mediate between the different parties involved: the stylists have offered their services for free, in return the project will be published in the Dutch lifestyle magazine BLVD.
Otto Berchem is a television enthusiast. During his time at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam this interest led to The Otto Berchem Show, an imitation of an American talk show, which took art as its subject. He transformed his studio at the Rijksacademie into the 'Green Room', the soothing waiting room for guests on a TV programme now became the waiting room where future participants awaited their interview. Their conversations and nervous behaviour was recorded on video while they were waiting. There is also a generosity about 'Make Over': Berchem uses his position as an artist to realize the dreams of others. At the same time the project draws attention to the harsh competitiveness of reality.
translation: Annable Howland
'Make Over' was realised by:
Tamar Bakker, Trudy Bakker, Lavina de Burger, Judith Dekker, Mireille van der Grijn, Aukje Hymans, Alie Jonker, Cecilia Linkers, Jan Willem Schouw
House of Orange: Ruud van der Peijl, Caroline Fuchs, The Flying Barber, Ingrid Boekel, Susan Hoffman and Mo Karadag
UNIT c.m.a.:Jos van Heel, Katerine Gutierrez-Villaverde en Arjen Huffels
Coos, Cora Kemperman, Laundry Industry, Oscar & Suleyman, SO by Alexander van Slobbe, Analik, Inch by Helbers&Krul, agnès b.
(video: camera and montage)
BLVD, Lifestyle magazine
(reportage in #48, September 1998)
Special thanks to: Patricia Pulles