Ronnie Van Hout

Ronnie van Hout

The Invisible Man


4 September - 28 September 1997

Ronnie van Hout once made a video of himself with his head bandaged. A master of impersonation, he was referring to photographs taken of German artist Martin Kippenberger after he'd been beaten up by young thugs. In The Invisible Man, van Hout extends the reference, presenting a kitset model of H.G. Wells' famous bandaged character. At the other end of the room a TV screens a video of the model's bandaged head, framed like a newsreader, apparently perhaps speaking some exotic language, perhaps nonsense. Van Hout also shows six 1/76th-scale kitset models, personally assembled and painted. They present bucolic landscapes, woodland scenics, and often incorporate low-grade humour regarding bodily functions: eating and shitting. Very Middle America. Van Hout describes them as ‘modeling jokes’—’jokes that modelers find funny rather than jokes about modeling’. For instance, The Bare Hunter finds a man relieving himself in the woods while a bear looks on. The Invisible Man furthers van Hout's exploration of miniaturisation: insignificance and identity.