A giant new sculpture on the Gallery roof by Ronnie van Hout.
With Quasi, Ronnie van Hout elevates the hand of the artist to monumental status in the regenerating city. Based on scans of his own body parts, van Hout describes Quasi as ‘the artist’s hand made giant’. A surreal piece of visual fun, it plays with the idea of the artist’s hand as the source of his or her genius. Quasi is full of pop-culture references, like the crawling, disembodied hand of old comedy-horror films, or Victor Hugo's lonely outcast Quasimodo on the roof of Notre Dame.
Exhibition number 1007
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.
Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in our latest outdoor installation. Quasi, a five-metre-tall sculpture of the artist's hand and facial features, was unveiled this morning on the Gallery's rooftop, next to Gloucester Street.
Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs
Exquisitely imagined, startlingly strange works by an internationally acclaimed New Zealand artist.
The hungry gap
We invited artists, academics, city makers, curators, health specialists and gallerists to comment on the challenges and opportunities for the arts in our city and what art can contribute to the future of Christchurch.
Aaron Kreisler is Head of the School of Fine Art at the University of Canterbury. He talked to Bulletin about challenges and opportunities for the arts in our city and what art can contribute to the future of Christchurch.
Martin Trusttum, project manager for Ōtākaro Art by the River, and founder of temporary gallery space ArtBox, writes on the role of art in Christchurch.
A Dark and Empty Interior
In B.167 senior curator Justin Paton documented his walk around the perimeter of Christchurch's red zone, and we featured the empty Rolleston plinth outside Canterbury Museum at the end of Worcester Boulevard. In this edition, director Jenny Harper interviews English sculptor Antony Gormley, who successfully animated another vacant central-city plinth—the so-called Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London. Gormley filled the plinth with 2,400 people, who occupied it for one hour each, night and day, for 100 days. Here, Jenny asks him about his practice, the value of the figurative tradition and whether he has any advice for Christchurch.
Here and Gone
In the last issue of Bulletin, senior curator Justin Paton wrote about the way the Christchurch earthquakes 'gazumped' the exhibitions on display at the Gallery – overshadowing them and shifting their meanings. In this issue, with the Gallery still closed to the public, he considers the place of art in the wider post-quake city – and discovers a monument in an unlikely place.