Ronnie van Hout

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1962

House and School

  • Purchased 2004
  • Mixed media
  • 2004/49.a-k
  • 2001

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)

earlier labels about this work
  • With this installation Ronnie van Hout recreates his childhood home in the Christchurch suburb of Aranui, and his primary school in nearby Wainoni.

    A looped video replays the breathless bike ride between these two locations, while a makeshift UFO hovers above, the results of its surveillance visible on another monitor. Together, these objects reflect van Hout’s fascination with dislocation, estrangement and otherworldliness.

    Van Hout was born in Christchurch and studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, majoring in Film Studies. His work is represented in collections in New Zealand and internationally. In 2004 Van Hout held a Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. (Label from about 2007)