9 September -
15 October 2016
200 Gertrude Street200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Opening: Friday 9 September 6–8pm 2016
Gertrude Contemporary was pleased to present YOU!, a solo project by Ronnie van Hout. As a leading figure in the Australasian art landscape for over two decades, van Hout has consistently brought into focus the presence of the artist within his practice. Frequently presenting himself within his extensive body of work, van Hout positions himself as the unwitting subject pervasively reappearing as a provocation to the artistic figure. The complexity of van Hout’s particular subversion of self-representation gains traction not through his own immortalisation, but rather, through the artist’s capacity to render himself as almost universal – the everyman inadvertently coopted as icon.
Van Hout created a new project specifically for the street-facing front gallery of Gertrude Contemporary. Clad in pajamas, van Hout’s sculptural figure stood in the centre of the room, pointing back at the viewer and the street with an almost accusatory menace. Turning the tide on what it might mean to be stared upon, we were implicated in the narrative, indeed, we were somehow at fault and being singled out for this reason. Through this van Hout performs a tangential shift within self-portraiture to cast the viewer as the subject, reprimanding us for looking and returning power to the lone figure in the gallery.
Ronnie van Hout (born Christchurch, New Zealand) lives and works in Melbourne. Selected solo exhibitions include The Dark Pool, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2015);I've Seen Things, Dowse Museum of Art, Lower Hut, New Zealand (2012); Bed/Sit, Artspace, Sydney (2008); Ersatz, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2005); and the major touring exhibition I've Abandoned Me, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, City Gallery, Wellington, Te Manawa, Palmerston North (2003-05).
Ronnie van Hout is represented by Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney; Station, Melbourne; Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington; and Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland.