Lina Issa

What if, if I take your place?

Every Thursday and Sunday Lina Issa was available for a talk

2 Dec 2012
21 Dec 2012

Lina has been placing an advertisement in different cities, online and in newspapers, asking people if she could take their place in one situation or another in their life. For an hour, a day, a week….


'What If I Take Your Place?' swap shop - An ongoing project by Lina Issa Aleksandra Kalashnikova


What if, I take your place?

The project unfolded several layers and phases, starting from creating a script for the replacement together with the person Lina will replace, to the actual replacement, and finally a setup where the fragile yet intimate and confronting qualities of the experiences could be voiced and shared. Did you ever have a desire or need that someone else replace you?


Advertisement Lina Issa -

"What if, if I take your place?" was advertised in Stockholm earlier in 2010. There, Lina replaced 11 people, amongst whom a divorced woman, a best friend, a sister, a garbage man and a curator.


December 1 to 7, Lina walked in Anne's shoes, a girl who will be losing her father to cancer in the near future. Lina visited her parents in Vucht, and slept in her old bed.

Anne asked Lina, "I want you to take my place in the still standing time between the life and death of my father. I want you to be there as a sensitive audience, as a witness, as a radio-receiver and sender. I want you to help me constructing my memory archive and turning my attempts of holding on to things to something productive. Would you tell my father: I love you Harry? Would you ask him: Papa, have I done well so far?”


From December 2 to 21, Lina replaced Helena, a daughter who hasn't seen her mother in a year and wants to re-establish contact on her mother's birthday.

Helena asked Lina to take a bag of shopping with ingredients to prepare the meal her mother makes best, Sour Cabbage and vegetarian sausage the Jewish Polish way. Helena wanted Lina to prepare this meal with her mother the way they used to when she was a child, to play the opera Tosca loudly and listen to her mother whistling along. Helena wanted Lina to ask her mother to teach her to play a children’s song on the piano.

More information

For a small talk or more information on how you can participate and let your place be taken by Lina, you could pass by the exhibition and ask Lina in what ways this is possible. You could also send her an email:

Here you can read the interview Lina did with Amsterdo.

Lina was also recently interviewed by the radio show De Avonden, click here to listen to the interview in Dutch.