18 Oct – 14 Nov 2003


Marcel Berlanger, Robbie Cornelissen, Desiree Dolron, Evelien Krijl, Dominique Leroy, Alisa Margolis, Graven Rebers, Peter Rostovsky, Aida Ruilova, Michelle Williams

This summer W139 organized its first project outside the regular venue on the Warmoesstraat. In October the organisation will once again be on the road, finding temporary accommodation with the Museum Amstelkring.

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This building, ‘Our Dear Lord in the Attic’, is not only remarkable for its ‘secret heart’ but also for its location: in De Wallen, just a short walk from both the red light district and the Warmoesstraat.

Starting October 18th, the typical 17th-century bourgeois house with a clandestine church hidden within will serve for a month as a guest room for W139. Like the canal house Museum van Loon, the Amstelkring hopes to be the regular host of contemporary art exhibitions in the years ahead. The museum’s labyrinthine structure and its extensive collection of church treasures, knick-knacks and paintings lend it a truly extraordinary atmosphere. Therefore, when considering possible participants in this show, W139 decided to invite a limited number of artists who are particularly equipped to make subtle use of this specific context. They were asked to determine the spirit of the place, determine what in their view is essential to the space and take this as a starting point for their various projects.

The specific installations that came out of this process contribute to the meaning of this place of belief, without disturbing or subverting its dignity and symbolic significance. This does not mean that the artists have limited themselves to merely decorating the Amstelkring. Rather they explore a variety of methods and strategies to deal with the historical density of such a place.

Their projects do not suppress the building’s unique personality, though the artists strive to avoid their work from becoming fully absorbed by its ‘domestic-archival’ surroundings. The contributions seek a balance between infringement and full integration, serving as a kind of ‘intravention’ (intravenous intervention).

As a whole, this presentation has little in common with traditional exhibitions, which allow one to pass from work to work at one’s leisure. In contrast, the visitor ‘discovers’ the works while finding his way through the museum.

Activities up in the Attic Sunday November 2nd offers a unique opportunity to (re)acquaint yourself with the Museum Amstelkring. Starting 5 p.m., after the museum has closed its door to regular visitors, those interested can explore the building in the company of several of the artists participating in the show. Drinks and admission are free. To make the required reservations, please contact the W139 office.

After the resounding success of last year’s Museumnacht (‘Museum Night’), the organizers hope that the 2003 edition, which will be held on November 8th, will again draw a large ‘new’ public to the challenging experience of art and cultural heritage. Once again, Museum Amstelkring will be participating in the after-dark event, and will furthermore be organizing an exciting additional programme that includes a concert by Green Lizard.