UNTITLED PERIOD PIECE is Ross-Ho’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom and was originally commissioned by Bonner Kunstverein, Germany and Vleeshal, Middelburg.
Amanda Ross-Ho’s sculptural work encompasses a diverse range of media, comingling the handmade with the readymade. Her exhibitions carefully orchestrate the personal and the universally familiar into complex theatrical tableaus. Industrially-produced objects are often copied using artisanal skills, translating them into scaled up decoys. In Ross-Ho’s environments, objects, images and ideas are doubled, repeated and inverted to the point of exhaustion. Commonplace dichotomies such as black and white, large and small, digital and analogue abound. She plays with the relationship between images and objects, allowing form to slip between two and three dimensional representations. Sculptural objects embody the qualities of the flat, scalable, and endlessly reproducible photographic image, resulting in a dimensional, yet pictorial experience.
UNTITLED PERIOD PIECE is a new body of work that collapses and inverts notions of time, labour and economy. The exhibition takes the form of a factory floor dedicated to the assembly line mass production of oversized black trousers. Like the film genre of historical period drama or a “period piece” that retroactively dramatizes a specific time period, the exhibition presents the authentic artifacts of laborious textile production alongside theatrically amplified ones to dramatically re-enact itself in real time. Inspired in part by Charlie Chaplin’s political comedy ’Modern Times’, made in 1936 during the great global recession, tropes of economic insecurity, time, and the slapstick friction between human fallibility and mechanized production echo throughout the exhibition.
24 oversized black trousers are hung at regular intervals with their pocket linings entirely inverted. A widely understood symbol of bankruptcy, they resonate with a monumental presence and absence. Looming over the installation is video capturing a continuous twelve hour shot of a ‘barber shop clock’, accelerated to one hour. Designed to be viewed in a mirror, the anxious hands move anti-clockwise over an inverted clock face, telling us of a time that is both forwards and backwards.