A Hotel Room for the Price of a Song?

And the idea of turning the place into a performance hotel came to him soon afterwards. "It was more than just a house to me, it was a luxury hotel. A luxury hotel I was allowed to live in because I am a performer," he says. So why shouldn't other performers also be allowed to live in the house? He thought. "I am also a guest," Kim notes. "I am constantly performing: a cleaning performance, a shopping performance, a performance abut service."

A Month's Worth of the Performing Chambermaid

He flips through the guest book, which all visitors sign regardless of whether they paid for their stay with money or with a performance. He recalls the performing guests best. An unemployed Spaniard who played the bongos. An Italian who lived here for a week with his local girlfriend and left behind three drawings. A homeless actor who stayed for two weeks, writing a novel and gave readings every night. A Berliner who didn't want to stay overnight but just wanted to use the bathroom -- she would sing in the shower.

On one occasion an unemployed Stuttgart woman, who couldn't afford her apartment anymore, called up and asked if she could stay for a whole month. She had no money, nor did she have any ideas for a performance. "What can you do well?" Kim asked her. Her reply: She was good at cleaning. So for a month she put on a chambermaid performance. "It was always nice and clean," Kim says. "And yes, it was art." Everyday art, just like the BBQ that one group of travelers threw to pay for their stay.

At the moment there are only a hundred names in the guestbook, seven months after the grand opening. "Most people think that they can't perform," Kim says. "They don't trust their own abilities." But all that matters is doing what you are good at, thoughtfully and with love. "Then it all becomes a performance."

A Business Model for Troubled Times

The best way to understand Kim's approach is to watch a video shown in the hotel's gym: It is a documentation of one of his performances named: "I Want to Ride my Bicycle." Kim is seen wandering through Rotterdam collecting parts of broken bicycles until he has enough to build himself a bike and ride away on it. "With a little love, anyone could do it," he says. It is a statement of intent about his art practice that reminds one of the performance artist and sculptor Joseph Beuys, who is now regarded as one of the most influential artists of last century: Beuys said that everyone was an artist as long as they thought and acted like one.

Who knows? If the idea catches on, Kim's hotel could soon be booked out. Because if you think about it, this style of lodging is perfect for business trips during the financial crisis. After their appointments the cash-strapped businesspeople could earn their overnight stay here, perhaps with a display of the art of knotting a tie, a PowerPoint performance or a demonstration of suit and shirt ironing skills. All done with love and dedication, of course.

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