Aimée Zito Lema is invited for a commissioned work at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. The installation, Here is Where We Meet , is on view from 15 april till 22 augustus 2021 . She is the second artist from the gallery program – after Giorgio Andreotta Calò in 2018 – who will present a large scale installation at the Oude Kerk.
Over the past three years, she has investigated two conflict situations of which the Oude Kerk forms the centre: the Iconoclastic Fury of 1566 and the recent resistance to the installation of Calò’s red window in the Holy Sepulchre, which some people believe affected monumental values. The traces left behind by both conflicts form the basic material for Zito Lema’s new work, which consists of two large textile works, photography, sculpture, poetry and an installation with basins.
Zito Lema about her research: “Above the pillars, for example, you can see the empty spots where sculptures of saints once stood. You can clearly see how violent things went at the time. The ceiling paintings have also largely disappeared, although you can still trace the lines and drawings thanks to detailed photographs. I want to use those lines for new graphic works.” She does not want to pass judgment in her work, she says. “I collect as many sources as possible and use them as material. I always work in a very process-oriented way. In this case, I collected the many letters and articles that have recently been published about the conflict at the Old Church. I also requested the documents of the summary proceedings. They are full of legal language. Then I organised a writing workshop with young people, in which they started making poems based on those documents. They cut up the legal language in a Dadaist manner into poems that reflect on the conflicts and history of the Oude Kerk.”
The visual language of the installation (construction lamps, scaffolding) brings to mind the restoration work that is always in progress in the church and that symbolizes both change and resistance to change.