Review:The Hoerengracht at National Gallery

Posted: December 11, 2009 in Uncategorized
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The National Gallery surprised many art lovers by hosting  Ed and Nancy Kienholz’s masterwork installation on 18th November and it will surprise many more until 21th February.

Some art critics said ,the  installation turns every viewer into a voyeur.Some newspapers said how come The National Gallery has given an opprtunity to a lesser known ,most neglected and forgotten artist to show his work which has never found a place in any museum in the last 15 years.Some bloggers found it annoying and opened a discussion on their blogs.

The Independent  said : “All the nastiness of prostitution ,and pathos and the degradation ,have here been mimetically sanitised by art.” and added , “The Hoerengracht is shaming because it is so painless and it is annoying.”

Exhibition:The Hoerengracht at the National Gallery.

The Gallery also has a video to show viewers about the process of the installation.Nancy Kienholz tells how she and her husband Ed Kienholz worked for five years in their Berlin Studio to create the Hoerengracht.She admits that it was hard to crank through the National Gallery System and there will be some complaints and she adds: “Ed would have said ,it is always so much fun when there are scandalised patrons.” in the video.

The Hoerengracht -Whore’s Canal or Gentlemen’s Canal-is basically a reconstruction of Amsterdam‘s red light districts(1983-86) which is exhibited in the dark Sunley Rooms lit with red lights only.An installation artist Ed Kienholz and his wife did not miss any detail in their work to criticise the prostitution .The artists’ masterwork has turned the Sunley Rooms into Amsterdam’s Red Light Street where people used to sell and buy sex in the  1980s.

Female statues look so real behind their windows.They all wait in their little rooms for a client and are secured by their pimps.Their faces are framed. Viewers can not open those little rooms’ doors .

Even  the sex buyers’ bicycles have been placed in the parking area which is specifically made for small vehicles,just opposite to the prostitutes’ rooms.The details amaze viewers.They can even see leaves on the Amsterdam’s  Red Light Street.

The exhibition exposes  the dark side of every society in details ,which has always been ignored.

Whores’ Canal Exhibition’s next stop is going to be Amsterdam’s Historical Museum after 21st February.

  1. STEVE says:

    I think your review would make me remember to visit this exibition.Interesting assignment! I presume combining art with writing was enjoyable?

  2. richard says:

    Great review, Sefika!

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