On Saturday 12 November Viral Radio presents the first performance of austere electronic music duo Raime in Amsterdam. They will join reknowned French multi-instrumentalist – and friend of Non-fiction – Pierre Bastien at the Moving Buildings Festival. Moving Buildings is a festival on music and media art, organised by P60, the Schouwburg Amstelveen and Cobra Museum of Modern Art
Machinefabriek live at Aura in Castrum Peregrini (photo: Jelle Spanjaard)
On a Thursday night in September in 2006, multi-instrumentalist Rutger Zuydervelt performed under his moniker Machinefabriek on the 700th birthday at the Oude Kerk, the oldest building of Amsterdam that is located in the heart of the Red Light District. It was a night I organised when I was still working at the n8 foundation, the collaborative museum platform that works for the Amsterdam museums. This was the beginning of an ongoing love affair with one of the Netherlands’ most productive and imaginative young composers and musicians. Since this concert we have worked together numerous times at the Bimhuis, Lantaren/Venster, Castrum Peregrini, and once even in my appartment in Amsterdam, together with Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard. Machinefabriek, a natural improviser who never performs the same work twice, and has an Olympic amount of releases and bootlegs swerving around. Even when I write, Michiel is listening to his music (and while you are peeking at his Last.fm account, have a look where Machinefabriek stands in my top artists list).
So it should not come as a surprise when we announce that the first artist we have asked to perform in 2010 is our dear friend Machinefabriek. We will celebrate the opening of the new year in De Verdieping with a special performance on Wednesday 6 January at 8 pm. We will also celebrate the proud fact that we have been granted a generous 2-year financial support from the Amsterdam Art Fund to upgrade the organisation and become a more professional cultural institution. The support enables us to notch up our activities and broaden our reach. We are delighted about this and look forward to inviting you to more adventurous programmes on the Wibautstraat in 2010.
We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday and toasting on the new decade. In the mean time, follow De Verdieping on Facebook and Twitter. Drive and shoot straight on New Year’s Eve.
During this first edition of a series of two Aura-salons and a finissage, as part of the Aura-project, Castrum Peregrini will confront artists, poets, writers and creative thinkers with the concept of aura as set out by Walter Benjamin. He defined aura as the distance between a purveyor of the work of art and the work itself. With the advent of mechanical reproduction, he argues, the distance has been closed, aura diminished, and the work of art democratized.
Fast-forward 70 years later, we are confronted with the rich and ‘auratic’ heritage of Castrum Peregrini.
But what will remain of it when this treasure trove is further opened to the public and is reinterpreted and reproduced by artists and journalists through photos, moving images and other means of communication? What will happen to its aura? This first Aura-salon questions Walter Benjamin’s alarming prediction that:
“that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art.” (Walter Benjamin)
The next Aura-salon will be on Thursday, 11 June, 20:00 – 23:00 hrs with contributions by (a.o.) Jan Baeke, Pierre Bastien, Theu Boermans, Amie Dicke, Dragan Klaic, Tracy Metz, Macha Roesink en Henk van der Waal.
The Aura project is being made possible through the generous support of the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, VSB Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Lira Fonds, Goethe Institut Amsterdam and Genootschap Nederland Duitsland
Today the Aura exhibition, curated by Non-fiction’s Michiel van Iersel, was reviewed by the Amsterdam newspaper Parool. The article gives a pretty accurate description – in Dutch – of the exhibition’s theme and the works on show. We are very happy that they included a large image of Amie Dicke‘s installation in the abandoned room of one of the late residents of this former hiding place.
Strangely enough, the article is (not yet) available online, so the following image is the best we can offer right now. (For our Dutch-speaking audience, notice the missing part in the title of the review: onderduikadres). And of course now we look forward to the next review.
Crowd outside the main entrance before the opening (l) with Castrum Peregrini’s Lars Ebert (l) and Michiel van Iersel (r)
Last Thursday we celebrated the opening of the Aura project: an exhibition and a series of events in the historic premises of Castrum Peregrini Foundation, where in WWII young German Jews survived in hiding. The opening was very well attended and people responded enthusiastically.
The following photos by our dear friend Simon Bosch give an impression of the evening, in case you weren’t there (or want to relive it). The next few weeks we will organize a series of so-called Aura salons with guided tours, performances, statements and music by Machinefabriek (May 28) and Pierre Bastien (June 11).
See more photos and read more about the Aura-project on www.castrumperegrini.org
Non-fiction’s Michiel van Iersel (l) and Castrum Peregrini’s Lars Ebert (r) welcoming everybody in front of an installation consisting of recycled furniture by industrial designer Chris Kabel. Artist and Castrum-founder Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht (left, center) and handsigned book by Walter Benjamin with graphic designer Eric Wie (left) and artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck (center) standing in the background. Among the visitors was Roger Willems (right) of Roma Publications who designed the super-stylish Aura booklets. The American artist and Aura participant John Kleckner (seen from the back, with beard). German artist and Aura participant Alexandra Leykauf (l) standing in front of photo installation by Susanne Kriemann. Installation by Amie Dicke in the abandoned living room of Claus Victor Bock, one of the people who was kept in hiding at Castrum Peregrini during WWII and who passed away last year. Dutch artist and Aura-participant Jan Robert Leegte (l) and his computerprojection in the archive of Castrum Peregrini (r), which is situated in the basement of the new project space.
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.