Every day for six months, four actors formed an island in the flow of travellers at the entrance to platform 5/7 at Utrecht Centraal station. They enacted choreographed daily movements and scenes which you would expect to see at the station: drinking a cup of coffee or tea, glancing at your smartphone to read the news, slowly strolling back and forth while lost in thought. A semi-permanent performance, intentionally without any spoken lines, explanations or announcements, because its discovery was intended to be an individual experience. This simple and transparent strategy created a theatrical space with a minimum of props and at a location which was far from obvious. How can we know (…) infiltrated the scene in a subtle manner and influenced the behaviour and visual perceptions of those passing by. This initiative of Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen demonstrates how you can use intangible factors to dramatically change (how) public spaces (are experienced).
An intervention where human enactment has an impact on our behaviour in a public space; that’s something which the committee definitely finds worthy of a nomination. How can we know (…) makes a statement in a very crowded space which is fully scripted and normally offers little opportunity for expressing an individual identity. The intervention reflects the monotonous behaviour exhibited by visitors to train stations. The disruption created by this performance contrasts starkly with the huge efficiency at the station.