Stuart Ringholt, one of Australia’s most fearless contemporary artists, will be presenting a thought-provoking exhibition, Stuart Ringholt: Kraft, in Melbourne from Saturday, 15 February. Ringholt’s practice addresses personal themes such as fear of embarrassment and pressure of conforming to social norms by using art as a potentially cathartic and re-energising force, and this exhibition promises to be no different.
A joint venture by the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and the City Gallery Wellington (Te Whare Toi), New Zealand, the exhibition will present two ambitious new commissions shown in context with a selected survey of recent videos, drawings, collages and sculptural works. It will be accompanied by a substantial monograph featuring interviews and essays on the artist with contributions by Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, Artistic Director, Documenta 13, and Amelia Barikin, author of Making Worlds: Art and Science Fiction (Surpllus, Melbourne, 2013).
With support from Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission, Ringholt has created a monumentally scaled and temporally askew clock that will be featured in the museum. The aim of this clock will be to provoke a disorientating and uncanny sense of time and an associated reconsideration of how time may be measured and spent.
Another feature of this exhibition will be a nude daytime disco – Club Purple – situated within the museum. Featuring mixed and solo dance days, exclusive ‘ladies days’ and an endless playlist to choose from, Club Purple will offer a truly unique experience to the participants. It will entail a dramatic reinvention of the museum as an embodied space.
According to MUMA Director Charlotte Day, “Stuart Ringholt’s artworks are often funny and strange, sometimes confronting, always thought provoking, and readjust our perspective on art and life. This exhibition provides the opportunity to place a number of pieces of the Stuart Ringholt puzzle together for the very first time.”
The exhibition will be in Melbourne until 17 April 2014, after which it will travel to Wellington and Brisbane.
In the past, Ringholt’s practice has involved leading audiences on naturist gallery tours, anger workshops, and participatory performance works that place the artist in embarrassing situations. He also makes video, absurdist sculpture, painted mirrors and collage. In 2006 he published the autobiographical book Hashish Psychosis: What it’s Like to be Mentally Ill and Recover. Ringholt has held many individual exhibitions worldwide and many of his works have been also featured in several major international exhibitions.