Opening Aura group show tonight at Castrum Peregrini


What does a contemporary artist do with the vibrant past of a former hiding place on one of Amsterdam’s canals? Is it the aura, the uniqueness and authenticity of this place to be captured and can it be transformed into something new and relevant? Those questions live at the heart of the art projectAura: an exhibition and a series of events in the historic premises of Castrum Peregrini Foundation, where in WWII young German Jews survived in hiding. As a modern Noah’s Ark the hiding place at the Herengracht manoeuvred through the horrors of persecution, with a group of friends under deck to enshrine a sphere of freedom through art and human culture.

Since the war the time seems to stand still in this labyrinth of rooms and passages. A small part of the first generation lives there to date, in the middle of countless antique objects, books and pieces of art they produced and collected. This inner world is still covered by a monumental 17thcentury façade. In the coming years the house will be partly opened to the public. To mark this transition nine artists from different disciplines were asked to choose a historic object, a story or a person as a point of departure and use it for a new artwork. The results of this ‘artistic recycling’ vary from installation art, ink drawings, photography and film to conceptual furniture, poems and a short contemporary radio play. The exhibition of works will start in the new project space of Castrum Peregrini, moving up the old staircase into the deserted apartment of a late inhabitant where the past is still perceptibly present.

Participating artists

Amie Dicke (beeldend kunstenaar, NL)
Chris Kabel (industrieel ontwerper, NL)
John Kleckner (beeldend kunstenaar, USA)
Susanne Kriemann (beeldend kunstenaar, D)
Jan Robert Leegte (beeldend kunstenaar, NL)
Alexandra Leykauf (beeldend kunstenaar, D)
Erik Lindner (dichter, NL)
Renée van Marissing en Allerd van den Bremen (theatermakers, NL)
Henk van der Waal (dichter, NL)

More at and Facebook.

On 28 May Machinefabriek will perform on the first Aura Salon. On 11 June Pierre Bastien will do the same.