Beautiful or Creepy?

While in Amsterdam last April, I saw an installation by French artist Christian Boltanski at the Oude Kerk (“old church”), Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church which also functions as a venue for art events. I confess I was bit divided between admiring the message and somber beauty of the exhibition and feeling a bit creeped out by the dark setting, the whispers, and the “statues” that would ask questions when you walked by them. The first time I passed by one it asked me: “Tell me, what is death like?” Scared the hell out of me! So, what do you think?

19 thoughts on “Beautiful or Creepy?

  1. Not sure how I would feel….. I guess it is one of those situations you have to experience first hand…. and I would visit given the chance. Last year on Remembrance Sunday a couple of churches had silhouettes of First World War Infantry Men erected behind some of the church pews to represent those from the congregation that were lost….sounded like a good way of remembering the fallen but many didn’t like the ghostly feel that they felt it created.

    • Yes, the artist is trying to make us go past that resistance and engage with the dead. I don’t have any creepy feelings in cemeteries, they usually have a calming effect on me. But this goes beyond because there are 8,000 real people buried under there and he is trying to connect us to them. Sort of…

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