The Oude Kerk has always been a place where people from diverse backgrounds came together, yet, they weren’t granted equal access to neither the space nor the institution. As a burial place, it was available to the political and cultural elite of Amsterdam, as a church, it denied access to people from different religions or those who were deemed heretic or sinful. As the city’s first archive, however, it demanded every citizen to register their marriage in the church thus ordering every individual under the emerging bureaucratic system. Today, the immediate neighborhood of the Oude Kerk is still vibrant with the diversity of individuals and communities but it is debatable whether an equal access to the urban space and different institutions has been realized along all factors of class, race and gender. How can a place like the Oude Kerk replete with conflicts and experiences of exclusion open up today and admit the formerly marginalized and excluded? And how can art reconsider and open up such a contested legacy?

Come Closer: gemini exit (beeny's retirement)
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