Magazine article Artforum International

Ross Knight: Team Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Ross Knight: Team Gallery

Article excerpt

Ross Knight's fifth solo exhibition at Team Gallery was a judiciously sparse arrangement of five new constructions characterized in the press release as "pratfall sculptures." It's an apt term for these playfully precarious works; there's something of the concealed rake, balanced water bucket, or discarded banana skin about all of them. Like Andreas Slominski's elaborate improvised animal traps, Knight's knowingly awkward setups seem to lie in wait, appearing physically and conceptually suspended, caught between quantifiable--albeit absurdist--formal resolution and the secondary, ironic suggestion of an obscure functional afterlife.

First up was Listening Center (all works 2007), a tall bundle of copper wires forced through a small hole in the center of a chunky plastic table. Wound together into a cable and splayed at both ends like a flower arrangement, the wires are capped with green-and-purple rubber earplugs that accentuate the work's faux-organic look. Like a makeshift approximation of an alien perennial harvested from the set of Star Trek, Listening Center seems to tease us with the inevitable failure of attempts to imagine the unimaginable, to hear the sound of silence. Its components retain their original identities such that suspension of disbelief becomes impossible, leaving us with a feeling of sheepish embarrassment at our ideational limitations.

If This Ability resembles anything, it might be an oversize maquette salvaged from Anthony Caro or Gary Webb's studio trash. An L-shaped length of weathered, scarlet-painted steel piping with a toilet-seat-like form at one end and a tennis-ball-size sphere slathered with blood-colored lubricant at the other sits in a yellow plastic furniture-moving bag pooled unceremoniously on the gallery floor. Like many of Knight's jerry-rigged structures, it has a visceral, even mildly obscene feel that evokes the roughly abstracted erotics of Sarah Lucas's Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 2000, or Jake and Dinos Chapman's Little Death Machine (Castrated), 1993. …

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