"The Hoerengracht" is a strikingly controversial installation piece by Ed Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. It is a walk-through evocation of Amsterdam's red light district, complete with alleys and brothels. Within the traditional, elegant walls of the National Gallery, such a gritty, unglamorous tableau may seem an incongruous sight, but this film shows surprising parallels with the Gallery's collection of Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century. Footage includes the Kienholz studio in Idaho, where The Hoerengracht is unpacked in preparation for the National Gallery exhibition. Nancy also returns to Amsterdam and discusses the changes she sees in the city's notorious red light district and how art has been a part of this. The exhibition Kienholz: The Hoerengracht opens at the National Gallery, London, on 18 November 2009 and runs until 21 February 2010. The exhibition then travels to the Amsterdam Historisch Museum (Museum Willet-Holthuysen) in Spring 2010. Parents and teachers should be aware that this film discusses adult themes.
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Colin Wiggins, Head of Education at the National Gallery, has created a successful contemporary art programme inspired by the Gallery's collection. His previous DVDs include John Virtue: London Paintings (2005) and Ron Mueck (2003).
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