The woman who has been depicted in the world most often now has her own exhibition in Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht: Maria. Kossmanndejong has designed this temporary exhibition – the museum’s largest ever – as an inspiring Maria trip. Across cultures and religions, past the works by old masters and modern artists, and on the basis of personal stories from well-known and less well-known Dutch people, visitors get to know Maria and discover the many faces of the world’s most worshipped woman.
The symbolism of Mary has been made visible and palpable throughout the whole exhibition. By way of an introduction at the staircase to the exhibition on the first floor, Maria – shown in Ascension – takes visitors along to higher realms. In the main exhibition space, a variety of colored foils on the windows creates filtered and colored natural daylight and, in combination with various soundscapes, makes visitors experience a stimulation of the senses.
In doing so, the designers have sought and realized an exciting interplay between old and new; historical icons, paintings and pieta figures are placed next to contemporary translations of Mary in, for example, tattoos, video installations and on the Internet. Also film fragments with personal stories and experiences of known and unknown Dutch people visualize the human side of Mary. With the exhibition ‘Maria’, Kossmanndejong has created a total experience in which art, culture, architecture, religion and spirituality are closely connected.
Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht
Februari 10 until August 20, 2017
Photos: Thijs Wolzak