Two church windows are lit as beacons of solace and safety at a place where a hidden church of the Mennonite community has been established since the seventeenth century. Normally you don’t notice this church directly from the street. Now it is emphasized by illuminating two of its windows in conjunction with two large metal objects mounted on the fence.
In the installation ‘Windows’ both the subject and the medium is light. The windows above the fence repeat the number of windows of a typical canal house. Tax was paid for the width of the house, thus mainly resulting in two windows plus a front door. The work also chooses an anthropomorphic form, a pair of eyes, to emphasize the human aspect opposed to the Christian theological use of the number three.
Although the Golden Age is renowned for its tolerance, there was little forbearance from the Calvinists to other denominations. Since the reformation in the Netherlands, Catholics and followers of other religions held their services in hidden churches, churches that were unrecognizable as such and out of sight. Now that the freedom of religion worldwide, and also in Amsterdam is under pressure whereby synagogues and mosques have to be under surveillance, it is meaningful to draw attention to this hidden church and to the importance of religious freedom.
The temporary installation ‘Windows’ was part of the sixth edition ‘Existential’ of the Amsterdam Light Festival. Location: Menonnite Singelchurch entrance Herengracht.
Windows 2017 steel, LED lighting 425 x 200 x 10 cm (twice) Light Art Collection