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Down Under

15 June to 2 September 2007

In the summer of 2007, Escher in The Palace was the guest location for the sculpture exhibition The Hague Sculpture. That year, the exhibition was focused on Australia, Down Under. The palace exhibited work by Australian artists Ron Mueck, Natascha Johns-Messenger and Ah Xian.

Ron Mueck enlarges or shrinks people, evoking a direct sense of involvement with the image. Mueck’s Big Baby (1997) and Old Woman (2000/2002) were brought to The Hague especially for Down Under. Ah Xian’s Human Human series was shown, featuring man-sized people. They are all made with typical but different Chinese decorations, including a large red woman whose body is completely covered with red lacquer figures, as if by a three-dimensional tattoo. Natasha Johns-Messenger spectacularly changed two spaces through visual illusions created in situ. In the basement, she developed a refined mirror maze in the former silver room of Queen Mother Emma. Johns-Messenger made good use of the geometric patterns on the late 19th-century floor. With this installation in the silver room she won the The Hague Sculpture Rabobank Award 2007. For the former stairwell for servants she made another installation in which the ceiling of the second floor is seen from below.

Ron Mueck, Big Baby II, silicone rubber, polyester, polyurethane foam and paint, 1997
Ah Xian, porcelain bust from the China China series (1998-2002)