taturo atzu: the garden which is the nearest to god

previous June 27, 2015 – September 6, 2015

The Japanese artist Taturo Atzu is renowned for his spectacular and often alienating projects. From 27 June to 6 September, commissioned by the Oude Kerk, Atzu realised a sensational transformation by constructing a temporary platform on the roof of the Oude Kerk. For ten weeks ‘The Garden Which is the Nearest to God’ transforms the roof of the Oude Kerk into an exhilarating attraction; its unorthodox function offering us new sights and insights. The Garden Which is the Nearest to God not only refers to the classical idea of a church as meeting place; this project also embodies the gradual shift from religious to cultural space. In fact, the traditional nickname for the Oude Kerk is ‘Amsterdam’s living room’. After an exhilarating ascent, visitors go up to an airy living room to stand eye-to-eye with a weathervane in the shape of an angel. A little further, nearby the turret, they can sit in the built-in seating area surrounding the church bell. It is an experience which questions the contemporary significance of the monument and lays bare tensions between public and private space. Image: Taturo Atzu: The Garden Which is the Nearest to God, 2015, oude kerk © Wim Hanenberg.