Amanda Ross Ho brings the photographer’s private studio into “the wilds of the public sphere.”
Amanda Ross Ho brings the photographer’s private studio into “the wilds of the public sphere.”
July 25

Photo Op: Amanda Ross-Ho at the MCA

On July 23 the Chicago Reader outlined SAIC alumna Amanda Ross-Ho’s (BFA 1998) massive new Chicago outdoor work The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things, also covered by ArtDaily on July 24. The project is named name after a 1980 handbook written for amateur photographers, and takes the form of a vignette used to outline lighting techniques. Blown up to massive scale, the sculptures—a cube, a sphere, and a mannequin’s head—recreate a controlled studio environment within the MCA’s highly-visible front plaza. “In conceptualizing this project I was very aware of the fact that whatever I put here would be heavily documented,” Ross-Ho explains. Embracing the modern impulse to self-document, Ross-Ho’s work “outlines the erosion of the public and private sphere in an age where everyone is a photographer,” says writer Sarah Nardi. Ross-Ho participated in a public conversation, recorded for WBEZ's Chicago Amplified series, with curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm (MAAH 2000) on July 23. The public installation marks the artist's return to the MCA after first participating in 2009's Selected Works exhibition and Production Site in 2010.