“Carnivals can turn into revolutions, like a notorious carnival that became a masked civic war in 16th century France. But they usually don’t. In fact, the real meaning of the mask is that modern protest is sophisticated, self-knowing, and cunning,” states Claire Tancons in her “Occupy Wall Street” article in e-flux journal (2011). It is with this quote that De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam closes its so-called shadow files accompanying “Topsy Turvy,” the opening exhibition in their new venue. This first exhibition in the new premises is based on carnival, a period of excess, a time in which the world is temporarily turned upside down, overthrowing the existing balance of power, codes of conduct and values. The selection of works cut through time (Discoteca Flaming Star and James Ensor are both part of the show, for example) but also through disciplines and media (a large tapestry by Berend Strik is sharing the room with comics by David Lloyd). “Topsy Turvy” shows that when things are turned upside down—be it through masquerade, art, carnival—a space is opened up for experimentation, change, the search for a new, progressive order and even a better world.