Behind the scenes
Maybe it's just a Halloween hangover, but there's something strange in the neighbourhood.
As Roger Boyce noted in a review for Artnet magazine in 2007, the End Dolls grouping resembled 'a police coroner's lineup of post-shoot-out gangsters' corpses'. With its red-rimmed eyes, ineptly coloured lips and just a hint of rouge, I've always imagined ours being made up by a stoned mortician's assistant on an, ahem, deadline.
Although this work wasn't actually what I was looking for deep in the object files (I was hunting down the video that accompanies this work, which features four completely barmy messages from Ronnie in the future, purportedly sent from the spaceship that has abducted him), I just took it as another sign that I'm definitely working in the right place.
Rifling through the Gallery's object files the other day, I came across this creepy little entry.
It's part of the documentation for End Doll, one of 12 apocalyptic figurines Ronnie van Hout produced for The Physics Room here in Christchurch in 2007. Christchurch Art Gallery purchased one and exhibited nine of them as part of our Who Goes There exhibition in 2009. From the aperture of a rudimentary wooden casket, each offers up a slightly different Ronnie corpse in miniature. It's the detailing that really makes them - the tiny tailored suits, the death-dulled eyes, that excruciatingly bad hair.