• © Iswanto Hartono, 2017
  • Oude Hollandse Kerk, 1640, Jakarta © Iswanto Hartono
  • Iswanto Hartono, Self portrait of the artist as Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 2010
  • Iswanto Hartono © Maurice Boyer

Iswanto Hartono



28 09 '17 > 15 11 '17

More info


Oude Kerke
Oudekerksplein 23
NL-1012 GX Amsterdam

Opening hours

Monday - Saturday
10:00 - 18:00 
(Last admission at 17:45)

13:00 - 17:30
(Last admission at 17:15)



T +31 (0)20 625 82 84


Seniors 60+
Youth 13-26 years
People with impairment

10,00 €

Groups (min. 20 people)


Children -13 years
Free entrance

Guided tours

Max. 15 people

Adults 80,00 €
School groups 50,00 €

T +31 (0)20 625 82 84


EUROPALIA, Oude Kerk, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia

How to get there?

Oude Kerk

Curators Alia Swastika & Jacqueline Grandjean

President Trump suggested recently that the removal of Confederate monuments is a slippery slope to changing history. He added: ’You’re changing history, changing culture.’ At the Oude Kerk we show how instead of changing history, we change the way we remember history.

The Oude Kerk presents an exhibition by Iswanto Hartono in the context of EUROPALIA INDONESIA. From 29 09 to 15 11 '17, Iswanto Hartono connects the history of the Oude Kerk with Indonesia’s colonial past, from an anthropological and archaeological perspective. 

Hartono is developing site-specific work for the Oude Kerk. Within this monumental building he will reflect upon the topic of colonization, a matter strongly related to the Oude Kerk. The many decorated graves of former acclaimed heroes, men who sailed out to colonize the world, bear witness to this. It was these men who became national heroes, and who in recent times have come to symbolized the ethnocentrism – experiencing and judging ‘others’ based on one’s own cultural perspective – that has characterized Europe since the 17th century . 

Hartono questions the Oude Kerk’s nature as an organically grown and embedded monument, by contrast with the uprooted monuments in Banda (Maluku Islands, Indonesia), which were established by the Dutch to remember and commemorate outside the context of the colonized cultures. We now wonder what exactly they commemorate. The horrendous annexation, slavery and oppression? Or the mere presence of the ruler? Within this context the artist creates new work that makes us aware of a colonial history that is now so often consciously forgotten. The work will vanish over the course of the exhibition, just like the disappearance of certain cultures and traditions in Indonesia caused by the Dutch and the dismissal of this past in the present day. 

Iswanto Hartono

Iswanto Hartono’s interdisciplinary practice focuses on the issues of history, time, space and urbanity. Trained as an architect, Iswanto is interested in exploring structure and form, and in researching the alternative uses of a space. Hartono’s work aims to provoke a critical awareness of space. The artist questions what space actually is or how it has been perceived as a matter of course. Hartono is particularly interested in Indonesian traditions and parts of that country’s history that have consciously been forgotten. Previous projects revolved around colonization and the battle of identity in contemporary Indonesia. 

Oude Kerk

The Oude Kerk endeavours to reach new audiences with an interhistorical programme launched in 2012 in which contemporary art and history meet. The institution has gained a significant and growing reputation in this field. The controversial installations are generating a fast-growing new audience for the arts. In the Oude Kerk the art experience is pivotal, presenting projects that always originate at the location itself (site-specific), bear out its cultural-historical values and are carefully conceived.

Interview with Iswanto Hartono here