This morning I attended the press preview meeting of the exhibit “My name is Prince”. This is the only official exhibition about Prince and it is now currently in Amsterdam after it took place in London.
For those who do not know me that well, Prince was my idol. I visited most of his concerts in Holland. Ever since I was a teenager, I listened to his music, it inspired me; and I have most of his albums. (For more information about this, read the blog that I wrote when he passed away)
How amazing it was to be able to attend this preview. Curator Angie Marchese welcomed us and showed us around the exhibition. Anyone who has visited Prince concerts knows that he was in favour of enjoying the moment. At his last concerts filming and photographing were absolutely forbidden and could get you removed. Anyone visiting this exhibition within a few months will notice that his thoughts are still alive.
You cannot use your smartphone during your visit. However, when you have a VIP ticket you get access to an extra room, which is arranged as if it’s Prince’s backstage dressing room, where the VIP guests can take photographs and hold his guitar. I can tell you, when I stood there with the white gloves and when Angie handed me that guitar; I was living in the moment. So much that I did not touch the strings to hear the guitar, but I held his guitar. When I came home, I watched the video where he plays that guitar over and over again.
The exhibition mainly consists of clothes worn during film recordings and performances and guitars made specifically for Prince. They also show more personal items, such as handwritten texts or the diamond stick that Prince used in 2015. Unfortunately, for the press, the audio tour was not yet available, which of course would have made the experience complete. If that were the case, he would have sung and spoke to you when you walked past phases of his successful career.
THE PROVOKING THING TO ME
As a fan, the most confronting was the length of the garments. Prince wasn’t tall, only 158 cm. Yes, I know that. Because his suits are presented on childlike mannequins (without a head!) it is even more noticeable that 158 cm is not tall, even with his high heels. To make the experience even more intense, the suits weren’t in any showcases. Standing only half a meter away, I could easily touch the suits, which was obviously not allowed. Yes, I really had to get used to the small garments.
Besides that, you can enjoy the iconic garments, heels, glasses and headgear that were made for performances on large stages. I have visited the exhibit quite often and really felt that I could not get any closer to this man than here and now at this moment. The VIP room is a floor that I would like to keep as a surprise for your own experience. If you decide to go, try to be a VIP guest.
Of course, just like the concerts, I finished this tour in the museum shop by purchasing merchandise. I was the first customer to buy something in the Dutch shop. In some countries, they believe that the first buyer brings luck, and that is exactly what I wish to bring to the organization “My name is Prince”. I wish them a successful launch and exhibition in Amsterdam; capital of the country which Prince had a special bond with. As a loyal fan, it is nice to be here and enjoy a feast of recognition to my idol.
Brand New Expo, organizer of this Exposition, told me afterwards that the rules and restrictions from heritage Paisley Park and Prince’s family are very clear and, unfortunately, also very restrictive. For the experience, it would have been nice to add more live images of concerts, or to give more depth by identifying the collaborations with other artists. “My name is Prince” is already greater in Amsterdam than in London and the organization has done everything within the possibilities to bring this exhibition to a high level. I found it very special to experience this and extremely recommend visiting “My name is Prince” to every Prince fan.
To enjoy even more, here is one of my favourite Prince registrations, recorded during MTV Unplugged.
MY NAME IS PRINCE
8 March to 8 June 2018
Beurs van Berlage, Damrak 234, Amsterdam
For more info visit the official site at: mynameisprince.amsterdam