21 October 2023 until 14 April 2024

Meredith Monk: Calling

The Oude Kerk and the Hartwig Art Foundation present the first-ever European survey of music icon Meredith Monk.

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'I work in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing, where theatre becomes cinema.' Meredith Monk

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Calling celebrates the visionary work of contemporary music icon Meredith Monk. The presentation is a unique retrospective of her influential interdisciplinary performance practice. Her live performances and concerts are translated into encounters with immersive video- and sound installations in the 700-year old church.

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The human voice as instrument

For over five decades Meredith Monk pushed the envelope of vocal music. Her highly unique approach to the voice has inspired many generations of musicians and sound artists and earned her numerous prestigious awards. Monk transforms the church space into a singing body and immerses the audience in an audio-visual experience especially created for the Oude Kerk. The exhibition translates her live performances and concerts into encounters with immersive video and sound installations in the 700-year-old church. 

Comprehensive overview of Monk's oeuvre

The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Meredith Monk's diverse oeuvre. Famous music theatres such as Quarry (1976) and ATLAS (1991) are shown in the form of installations. The exhibition features as well the pioneering video installation 16 Millimeter Earrings (1966/1998) and the poetic sound installation Silver Lake with Dolmen Music (1981). In addition the retrospective also presents an Amsterdam version of Monk's iconic work American Archaeology (1998). This interactive artwork consists of objects dipped in beeswax. During the duration of the exhibition, the work will continue to be supplemented by the public with new objects.

Live concerts

As an integral part of the show, a series of live concerts is scheduled. The concerts will connect Monk’s profound legacy to the Oude Kerk while also passing it on to a new generation of musicians. On 21 October 2023, Monk will present one of her rarest and most intimate concerts together with two renowned members of her Vocal Ensemble (Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin). On 1 December 2023 and 16 February 2024, Monk's famous Piano Songs will be heard. Look here for more information and tickets.

Icon of contemporary music

Meredith Monk (b. 1942, New York City) is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theatre works, films and installations. Recognised as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is the pioneer of what is now called ‘extended vocal technique’ and 'interdisciplinary performance'. With her enigmatic, playful and unconventional compositions and performances she has pushed the boundaries of music, visual art and performance. Her works have been presented at major venues throughout the world. Over the last six decades, she has been hailed as ‘a magician of the voice’ and ‘one of America’s coolest composers’.


Meredith Monk: Calling is a co-presentation of the Oude Kerk Amsterdam and Hartwig Art Foundation. The exhibition is curated by Beatrix Ruf, director Hartwig Art Foundation, and is developed in close collaboration with Meredith Monk and The House Foundation for the Arts. This first survey of Meredith Monk’s oeuvre is a collaboration in two acts: at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, together with Hartwig Art Foundation (21 Oct. 2023 – 14 April 2024) and at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (10 Nov. 2023 – 3 March 2024).