Hotel Ideal 2001 was an initiative of the theatrical company Laika, the children’s art centre Villanella and Berchem Cultural Centre, all three of which are located in the same neighbourhood. Hotel Ideal took place from 16 to 21 April 2001 as part of the Tweetakt arts festival.
After the sombre mood left by the elections, there was a need to do something positive about the general spirit of intolerance that seemed to have taken hold of the people of Antwerp. Hotel Ideal was a community, art and encounter project. Actually, we wanted to turn a ‘problem situation’ (a shopping street with lots of vacant premises) into a unique happening. Hotel Ideal was a temporary abode for dreams, memories, art and fancy.
For a whole week, from 16 to 21 April, we wanted as many shop premises as possible to be inhabited. We invited ‘ordinary artists’ and ‘extraordinary people’ to turn Statiestraat into the buzzing centre of the city in whatever way they could think of. Eccentrically, but never provocatively, we interfered with everyday life. The local associations and shopkeepers were encouraged to take an active part, as were the locals themselves, of course.