The monumental Fort bij Vijfhuizen is one of the first concrete buildings in the Netherlands and part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam; a large-scale 19th-century defensive plan that was never completely put into action, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The island is surrounded by distinct examples of Dutch country planning like the 19th century polder landscapes and 20th century suburban “Vinex” housing districts.
Since 2005 the island is a destination for art, a unique location where visual art, military heritage and nature come together. The exhibitions mirror the fort’s surroundings: a collage of engineered landscapes showcasing the deployment of nature for a wide range of—now often outmoded—purposes.
The Kunstfort is a place where time, space, and image merge. The artistic program is inspired by the genre of science fiction—artists create alternative realities and question existing societal systems. Recurring themes are climate and landscape, border politics and defense models, technology and ritual, dystopia and apocalypse. From 2019 onwards we redirected this to modes of enchantment, healing and fertility, yet still in the context of imagining alternative realities. The outcomes are presented in exhibitions, outdoor interventions, and multidisciplinary exchanges.