‘Het IJ’ is the name of the water that divides Amsterdam from its northern parts. In an exceptional moment of inspiration the city planners decided to transform both banks into a modern, progressive city landscape. And they succeeded. I could spend hours describing the projects, the developments and the atmosphere in ‘North’, and I might do so in future posts. For now let me limit this post to the Eye on the IJ.
Behind the Central Station, across the water, lies a white building with an indefinable but undeniably modern shape. This is the Amsterdam EYE which houses the film museum, cinema and a popular café/restaurant with terrace. It is well worth a visit – to photograph, to admire the architecture or just to sit and watch the boats and towering cruise ships passing by. And if you’re lucky there is a worthwhile exposition to visit
Don’t miss the one that is on now: short films and installations by shadow,charcoal and theatre artist William Kentridge. He manages to touch something deeply human with his historical and nearly archetypal images and shadows in movement. Included in his displays are many references to his homeland South Africa. The shadowy processions of human figures dragging and carrying objects evoke images of refugees, prisoners, demonstrations, marching bands, military parades, political manifestations.To me it all seems to suggest the impossibility of political solutions for ideological causes and the inevitable transience of the human state. It is fascinating, I ended up watching everything 3 times.
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