Mid-April kicked off with the opening of an exciting and collaborative cultural hotspot at the historic building Felix Meritis at Keizersgracht 324. Together with Foam, Amsterdam’s photography museum and various partners, the building has become one of the town’s main destinations for contemporary art. Installations, film screenings, photography and other artistic performances will be taking place from April until September 30th.
Here, you’re expected to find something new every week: live concerts, theatre, debates and lectures on a variety of contemporary subjects. If you ever wondered what an artist’s studio looks like, then your answer is also right here. Each month a new artist holds an open studio to present his work – a unique opportunity for people to connect with them as well as witness their artistic process. One of the best thing about this initiative is that from Wednesday to Sunday the exhibitions and activities are opened till late, from 11am to 1am. So if you find yourself wandering around the city’s main canals when everything else appears to be closed, now you know where to head to.
And it doesn’t stop there: the restaurant Foyer, run by a group of young entrepreneurs, has its own room by the entrance where it serves delicious food for attractive prices. Within the seven rooms filled with an exciting cultural agenda, you will also find innovative fashion and design shops, a space created in a partnership between Frame Publishers and designers i29. If this doesn’t seem enough for you, a generous space has been dedicated to Foam’s cool bookshop where you will find the best reads on Dutch contemporary art and beyond.
Having this brilliant combination of events taking place in such a significant building to both Amsterdam and Europe is a great joy to the public. The Felix Meritis building, which dates as far back as the 18th century, was declared bankrupt earlier this year and Gemeente Amsterdam have allowed the initiative to last until they find a new buyer for this site. “Connecting Cultures” was the motto of the Foundation that ran the building until recently. It seems, then, that this exhibition, which is like an ode to contemporary arts and young artists might be the farewell to the rich history kept under the roof of this building. Undoubtedly, it is a happy and cheerful goodbye so enjoy it for the five months to come.
Image: Christian van der Kooy