Artist Joseph Semah writes an answer to Luther’s thesis on the door of the Nieuwe Kerk

This is the answer

As long as the Western paradigm persists in displaying a work of art as something to be read, we should be aware of and familiar with the history of Christianity. In this case—whether or not we find it important to characterize the Western paradigm as an endless attempt to transform the original movement of Christianity into a contemporary philosophy—reading works of art in public space remains a shadowy masquerade from a distant past. cultural past. In any case, it is evident that of the artists who are part of the Western paradigm, there is no such thing as a profane work. That is, all works of art displayed in the public space are always ritualized and associated with a particular ‘sacred’ text found somewhere; In this regard, it should be noted that whatever work of art is displayed in public space is both a necessity and an impossibility, a simultaneous presence of something legible and something shadowy. Undoubtedly, it is this shadowy that makes this fascinating effect appear as if from a distance and makes the Western paradigm dependent on the continuous production of works of art. But above all it explains the innate obsession of artists with political issues. This makes it natural for the artist to once again veil what was already shadowy. We have to keep this in mind because this appears to have become the moral dilemma when we talk about reading in the public space. After all, reading is part of our fascination with the artist’s promise to make invisible the connecting lines between contemporary philosophy and Christian theology. Although this promise of the artist, namely back to back, brings us closer to the de-Christianization of the Western paradigm, the result is an endless lack of clarity about how to start with Christian theology or contemporary philosophy. And in the background we still see the unsolvable dilemma of the guest. On the one hand he is forced to remain silent about his highly personal way of reading , while on the other he uses Christian tactics to be noticed without being discovered.

This is the answer

The guest in ourselves is above all an artist of words, because words are the medium through which he has learned to hide his name, to hide his doubts and to suppress his fear by publicly criticizing his own desire to participate in the Western paradigm. . To begin with, the Nostalgia for a Paradise Lost continues the guest from the outset and throughout his active life in exile.


Travel in time.

History & Royalty On Friday 14 July, our doors will open for a special volume of Journey in Time. History & Royalty.In this edition we go back to the year 1517, exactly 500 years ago. Then Martin Luther allegedly started the Reformation by hammering 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. This has had major consequences for Christianity. Thus, in the sixteenth century, De Nieuwe Kerk changed from Catholic to Protestant. De Nieuwe Kerk has asked Semah to make an installation especially for this edition. He will give a contemporary answer to Luther’s theses and to their meaning then and now. Semah reflects on the founding meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1948, during which the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in De Nieuwe Kerk. In this way he arrives at a modern artistic view of Luther. His installation will be presented on Thursday 13 July during the official opening of the exhibition. In Time Travel. History & Royalty takes the visitor back into the history of the building and the great historical moments that took place there. With video walls, projections, audio guide and live music every day, six hundred years of history can be experienced in a penetrating way, in a journey through medieval secrets, the Iconoclasm, royal ceremonies, free-spirited townspeople and the Dutch naval heroes who are buried there.

Activities: Artist Talk, Corona Ensemble, In conversation with the pastor

July 30: Artist Talk. Meet the artist Joseph Semah at his installation.

August 6: Ensemble Corona. Aus Tieffer Noth. Be transported to the turbulent era of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Ensemble Corona presents a program full of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century music from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With works by Senfl, Hofmaier, Resinarius and De La Rue, among others. Valeria Mignaco (soprano) / Heleen Gerretsen (recorder, cornetto) / Margo Fontijne (viola da gamba and vendel) / Elly van Munster (lute).

August 13: In conversation with the pastor. Rikko Voorberg (1980) is a theologian and known for the PopUp Church. Join us at a meeting for (un)ecclesiastical people who, just like Martin Luther at the time, want to shape the world differently. With bread, wine and old Bible texts.

Read the text in its original Dutch version: