De Oude Kerk
The Oude Kerk – or Old Church – in Amsterdam’s Red Light District – officially became a museum in 2016. Since 2012 it has given a prominent place to contemporary art. The Oude Kerk is a commissioner of large-scale, site-specific installations. It realizes artists’ ideas on a scale that has never been seen before in the Netherlands. This makes the Oude Kerk one of the most important commissioners of work by living artists.
On the basis of its heritage, as a church consecrated in 1306 where art and the formulation of ideas were daily bread, the Oude Kerk takes identity and collective memory as the points of departure for its programme. With this programme it wants to encourage reflection and discussion in our rapidly changing society. Following an extensive restoration between 1955 and 2013, the Oude Kerk has been presenting itself as a historical monument with contemporary art.
In the space of three years, the Oude Kerk has evolved into an ambitious commissioner of international artists, such as Tony Oursler, Taturo Atzu and Christian Boltanski, for exceptional projects with a special relationship to the historical location, from radical interventions to reverential tributes. The Oude Kerk’s way of working is highly distinct from what is happening elsewhere in the city, both in the fields of contemporary art and heritage.