- Purchased 2004
- Mixed media
Ronnie van Hout’s installation recreates his childhood home in Aranui, a suburb of eastern Christchurch, and his primary school in nearby Wainoni. A looped video replays his daily bike ride between the two locations. Together, these elements present the story of van Hout’s beginnings.
Familiar architectural structures, however, are taken beyond the ordinary by the presence of a hovering, makeshift UFO, whose surveillance results appear on a nearby monitor. Can we read this as a picture of suburban childhood experience as an alien might see it, or as the artist’s memorial to the need for imaginative survival and escape? (Above ground, 2015)
Not Quite Human
Lara Strongman: The title of your new work for the Gallery is Quasi. Why did you call it that?
Ronnie van Hout: Initially it was a working title. Because the work would be outside the Gallery, on the roof, I was thinking of Quasimodo, from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. I was coming out of a show and research around the idea of the freak, the outsider and things that are rejected—thinking about how even things that are rejected have a relationship to whatever they’ve been rejected by. And I called it Quasi, because it’s a human form that’s not quite human as well. The idea of something that resembles a human but is not quite human.
Ronnie van Hout is the artist responsible for the mysterious figure pointing skywards that has appeared on the roof of a central city building.
Open, closed or merged; there's no doubt these are challenging days for all schools in Canterbury.
Ronnie van Hout's latest film, The creation of the world, is a nocturnal highlight on Worcester Boulevard at present.
Some public art has been ruined by the earthquake: look at poor old Godley and Rolleston. But some has actually become better and more resonant – risen to the occasion, you might say. A prime example sits inconspicuously at the entrance to a suburban driveway on Breezes Road near the settling ponds, in the heart of the hard-hit east.
Cycling is still one of the easiest way to get round the inner suburbs of Christchurch after the run of recent earthquakes, but you have to have your wits about you.