A Scene In Oude Kerk Amsterdam

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Two works of the exhibition “Once in a lifetime” (12 May – 28 August 2016) in Oude Kerk (Old church), Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1.- In the work ‘Heritage’ by Folkert de Jong (NL, 1972), and older man and child are sitting on a stack of pallets. Downcast and timid they stare straight ahead. In the monumental church they seem particularly vulnerable and lonely. Where do they come from? What are they waiting for? What is making them so dejected? By calling the work Heritage, Folkert de Jong is alluding to the fact that we are not only responsible for our behaviour in the present, but are responsible for the behaviour of our predecessors in the past as well. Typical of Folkert de Jong’s work is his use of coloured styrofoam and polyurethane foam. These materials are not intended to last for eternity and are not environmentally friendly whatsoever. It is this disturbing property that intrigues the artist. In his sculptures he often refers to dark events in the past, which he then relates to contemporary events with an ironic twist, connecting the history of art with the present day.

2.- The work ‘Celebration (you only live once)(you only die once)’ that Job Koelewijn (NL, 1962) has created especially for the exhibition consists of an installation of vases with colourful, fragrant flowers. The vases are placed carefully on the church’s tombstone floor, in memory of the dead who were buried here many centuries ago. Flowers are used at many moments in life as an expression of joy, but they are also used at moments that are coupled with sorrow, as an expression of love and solace for the bereaved. In the church the flower arrangements leave a solemn, serene and at the same time slightly absurd impression. Who are we commemorating here and for whom do the flowers provide solace? Job Koelewijn’s work is often conceptual in character, but is at the same time strongly sensual and always alludes to reality. The subjects of ‘time’ and ‘timelessness’ play an important part in his work, which ranges from photos and films to small objects and space-filling installations. Koelewijn often uses materials that appeal to our sense of touch and smell, that possess a great fragility and ‘purity’.

The 800-year-old Oude Kerk (“old church”) is Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church, founded ca. 1213 and consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht with Saint Nicolas as its patron saint. After the Reformation in 1578 it became a Calvinist church, which it remains today. It stands in De Wallen, now Amsterdam’s main red-light district. The square surrounding the church is the Oudekerksplein.

Today, the Oude Kerk is a centre for both religious and cultural activities and can be rented for presentations, receptions and dinner parties. Among the events hosted is the prestigious annual World Press Photo awards ceremony. The venue hosts many concerts with performers including the BBC Singers and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

The plaque at the pillar is dedicated to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621), a Dutch composer, organist, and pedagogue whose work straddled the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras. He was among the first major keyboard composers of Europe, and his work as a teacher helped establish the north German organ tradition.
(Description from oudekerk.nl and Wikipedia)

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© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Anteroom of Misericordia Church in Porto, Portugal.

The Igreja da Misericórdia is located on the Northern area of Rua das Flores Street, on the beautiful city of Porto.

This monumental church has a architectonic style dating back to the 16th century and it was designed by the Baroque architect Nicolau Nasoni.

Rua das Flores is one of Oporto’s most attractive streets. Venture down this 16th century street from across São Bento Station to find tall and narrow houses with characteristic windows and iron balconies. Some of them have the coats of arms and shields of the city’s noble and bourgeois families, recalling the illustrious past of the streets’ inhabitants.

At number 15 is a 16th century church that was given a new richly decorated Baroque façade in the 18th century.

Over the doorway is an imposing royal arms, while the interior has a sober Mannerist style, while also featuring Neoclassical woodcarvings and 17th century blue and white tiles.

The church includes a museum, including a remarkable 15th century Flemish Fons Vitae. This major work of sacred art depicts King Manuel I with his wife Leonor and their children kneeling before Christ in the cross.

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San Carlo al Corso in Noto

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The church of San Carlo al Corso, dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, is the church of the convent of the Jesuits of Noto .
Built from 1730 probably designed by Rosario Gagliardi, the church is a longitudinal plan, with three naves covered by a barrel vault and scanned by half. The concavity of the apse is called, near the portal, by a corresponding curved atrium.
The facade, with three levels, is characterized by the use of freestanding columns and the characteristic pattern mixtilinear-convex. The building material is the local golden limestone.
The bell and the main altar from the old Jesuit church of Noto Antica, which was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of Val di Noto of 1693.

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