Inspiration for 1980s Artwork Were Amsterdam's Prostitutes

by Rajshri on  March 19, 2010 at 9:26 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
A real-life, walk-through artwork on display from Saturday has been inspired by the prostitutes of Amsterdam's famous red-light district.
 Inspiration for 1980s Artwork Were Amsterdam's Prostitutes
Inspiration for 1980s Artwork Were Amsterdam's Prostitutes

"This artwork has made a tour of the world, but this will be its first exhibition in Amsterdam," the curator of the city's Historical Museum, Annemie de Wildt, told AFP. "It's like it has come home."

Entitled "The Hoerengracht" (the canalside street of whores), the work of 13 metres (43 feet) long, four metres wide and three metres high was created by American artists Ed and Nancy Kienholz between 1983 and 1988 in Berlin.

It is a real-life reconstruction of a street on the red-light district.

The street is gloomy, dimly lit with red and blue lamps, with polyester mannequins made to look like they are plying the trade from glass boxes.

Sitting and standing, dressed or nearly naked, the "prostitutes" put on their make-up, smoke and look out for clients.

"It is a personal interpretation of the red-light district" of Amsterdam in the 1980s, Kienholz told a media preview of the exhibit.

Prostitutes of today have "an institutional look" compared to the 1980s when the artwork was made, Kienholz reminisced. "Nowadays they all look the same."

The work was previously exhibited at the National Gallery in London.

Amsterdam's red-light district, which draws tourists from around the world, has about 370 prostitutes' windows. The city wants to reduce the number to 240 by 2018 in a revamp of the historic centre aimed at curbing rising crime.

Source: AFP

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