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Open the Grave

9 December 1962
BG D29/340

`Honouring the dead, the convicted, and the dead still to be killed' was the theme of the first real happening in Amsterdam on 9 December 1962. The title 'Open the grave' was a reaction to the death of the Dutch queen-mother and a large fund-raising campaign for handicapped persons called 'Open the village'. The happening was a more or less improvised art project including a 'Shrine for Marilyn Monroe', a 'Danse Macabre'  and a 'Kiss of Death'.
Earlier happenings took place in America, London and Paris. Simon Vinkenoog, one of the organizers, places 'Open the grave' in this tradition. As he writes '... and for now Amsterdam: necrophilia. Be glad to be here. A lot more will happen to you.' Indeed, there was more to happen in Amsterdam. A number of collaborators took part in the Provo movement and joined in other happenings in Amsterdam.