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Annie / Barbie

The Drakennest (Dragon’s nest) is a shopping mall for kids in the inner city of Amersfoort. Kids can take their parents out for shopping here amidst an architecture of funny turrets and cheerful colours. As in ancient Pompeii, where a shop’s wares were advertised in mosaics on the street in front of it, the mosaic of Annie Barbie points to the products of the toys and kids’ bookshop.
Annie Barbie is the title of a 3 x 20 meter marble mosaic floor with the images of two child heroes, a famous doll and a famous Dutch writer of children’s books – Annie M.G. Schmidt, and Barbie.
Two morally opposed symbols, the politically correct author of excellent child literature, and the commercial ‘dumb blond’, are placed at an equal level in this mosaic. The added signs for copyright and trademark, © and ™, show that in the end, they are both commercial products.
The heroes of children’s imagination are not put to morality tests by kids themselves, but their parents do. The same goes for the morality of the project developers who thought up this environment. Annie Barbie communicates with kids and with grown-ups.

Source: Patricia Pulles, Hans van Houwelingen: explanatory notes Annie / Barbie, 2000