Thursday, December 07, 2006

Head case

Ronnie van Hout’s exhibition Jingle Bowels at Hamish McKay’s is a set of animated store window Christmas figures sporting Ronnie’s own features. In 1993 Ronnie was working at what was then called the National Art Gallery. After helping pack out the exhibition Headlands: thinking through New Zealand art, he rescued the discarded signage and labels for the show. Later that year he reinstalled the labels and signs at Cubewell House. This was a space that operated for around a year out of an office building just down from the Embassy theatre on Kent Terrace. Thanks to the arrangement of cubicles in the space, Ronnie somehow was able to mirror almost exactly the placement and juxtapositions of all the works in the show. This ghost exhibition of labels was called When Art Hits the Headlands. Of course it came with a complete and fully illustrated catalogue (the labels printed out in black and white) along with a director's four words (ok), acknowledgements, an introduction and an essay 'Submarine culture' by Ronnie Van Hout..