Some expo’s require serious global travelling, others are just a stone throw away like the latest Taturo Atzu. Yesterday morning, while Amsterdam’s city center was buzzing with Gay Pride energy, I sneaked through the small streets in the Red Light District – connecting my home to De Oude Kerk. On my way to see the art installation of Japanese artist Taturo Atzu. He constructed a temporary platform on the roof of the church: The Garden Which is the Nearest to God.
Taturo Atzu’s scaffolding construction
The temporary rooftop platform is only accessible via a scaffolding construction outside the church. The ascent alone is an unforgettable adventure in and of itself and certainly a challenge for the fainthearted. If you suffer from fear of heights, forget about this climb altogether. The higher I climbed the steep, narrow stairway, the firmer my grip on the side rails became…
Once on the Taturo Atzu’s platform, you arrive to a unique panoramic view of the intricate network of Amsterdam’s old city centre streets. Then comes the second surprise; a close-up view never before possible of the impressive slate roofscape. The slate tiles and lead elements are still fitted using traditional techniques.
The Garden Which is the Nearest to God
Taturo Atzu (Japan, 1960. Studied art in Tokyo and Munster) is also known under the aliases Tatzu Nishi, Tazu Rous, Tazro Niscino, Tatzu Oozu and Tatsurou Bashi. To name a few. His spectacular projects attest to a long-standing fascination for contradictions that touch on each other.
Temporary settings – as in The Garden Which is the Nearest to God – transform public (historical) monuments and evoke the intimacy of living spaces, are characteristic of Atzu’s work . It is the first time that his work – on this scale – is shown in the Netherlands
For me this expression of art was a total experience. Not only did looking down in silence to the hustle and bustle of daily life which I know so well from another perspective had effect on me, the ascending and descending itself did as well. I felt vulnerable on the open scaffolding and missed the firm ground under my feet.
Besides the impressive installation, I like the fact that once the platform closes to the public, the scaffolding will remain for carrying out maintenance work. Who said art can’t be pragmatic?
www.oudekerk.nl until September, 6 2015 Check out the special program on the rooftop of the Oude Kerk