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No One is Watching You

10 Jul 2018

No One is Watching You Image

Melbourne-based, New Zealand-born artist Ronnie van Hout’s distinctive characters will unsettle and beguile audiences at Buxton Contemporary gallery this month.

Opening July 12 and running through until October 21, aliens, failed robots, fragile and lonely figures in the midst of perplexing scenarios will be on display in the gallery’s first survey exhibition featuring an artist.

For the past 20 years, van Hout has demonstrated a masterful ability to evoke familiar and yet strange interior worlds that unleash deep social anxieties, feelings of self-consciousness and the impulse to both laugh and cry.

The ironically titled No One is Watching You brings together more than 20 works from this significant contemporary artist’s singular practice. Fueled by loans from public institutions and private collections across Australia and New Zealand, the exhibition features a number of key works, as well as two new major projects, alongside works in sculpture, video, embroidery and text.

Best known for his distinctive brand of existential absurdism, van Hout’s tragicomic oeuvre references a wide range of sources, from science fiction, cults and cinema to arts history and popular and celebrity culture. He frequently draws upon childhood experiences and recollections to create wryly-amusing yet heart-rending micro fictions.

“The multitude of protagonists populating van Hout’s work includes figures from pop culture, peculiar everymen and wicked self-portraits. The latter appear to theatrically seize the artistic limelight while at the same time attempting to elude its searching glare,” curator Melissa Keys said.

“Van Hout’s practice deliberately blurs the boundaries between self and other, artist and audience, tragedy and farce, at once humourously and poignantly exploring powerful sensations of the contemporary human condition.”

Ronnie van Hout, No One is Watching You, curated by Melissa Keys runs from July 12 to October 21 at Buxton Contemporary, corner of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St.

Buxtoncontemporary.com/exhibitions/no-one-is-watching-you-ronnie-van-hout/

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