Installation view of Ruth Höflich’s work <em>Two suns</em> 2023 on display as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Tom Ross

Ruth Höflich

Ruth Höflich
(b. 1976 Munich, Germany. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Ruth Höflich is a visual artist whose work makes inquiries into the embedded, sub-visible properties of images. Her practice, which spans moving image and installation, often begins with the photograph as a source of energy and information. She also regularly makes work through collaboration and artists’ publishing.

Commissioned by the NGV, Two suns, 2023, responds to a series of works in the NGV Collection and the sites of the collections themselves. To Höflich these behind-the-scenes viewing rooms and storage spaces represent the unconscious essence of the gallery space.

In a darkened gallery, a two-channel video plays on two projection screens that are in conversation with each other. Behind-the-scenes footage of gallery architecture evokes the arcane interiors of the human psyche, forming the site of speculative, surreal and cinematic imaginings. Enigmatic figures hint at the stories imbued in the collections, while a bustling soundscape blurs the bounds of screen and spectator, interior and exterior, conscious and subconscious.

Born in Munich and now based in Melbourne, Höflich has screened and exhibited her work at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Images Festival, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Pravo Ljudski Film Festival, ICA London, Kunstverein München, Lubov in New York and TCB in Melbourne. She has also participated in several publishing fairs, including Printed Matter in New York and Los Angeles. Höflich holds an Master of Fine Art from Bard College, New York, and a Bachelor of Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She teaches on the Fine Art Honours program at Monash University, Melbourne, and has led seminars at Hochschule der Künste Bern, Bus Projects, Melbourne, and Melbourne School of Contemporary Art She is a current Gertrude Studio Artist (2022–24).