Ross Little: The Heavy of Your Body Parts and The Cool Air of the Air Condition
- Jessica Ramm
- 10 August 2017
This article is from 2017
Disorientating and surreal video installation
Ross Little's video installation presents a surreal view of life aboard a cruise ship, alongside footage of a shipbreaking yard in India.
Joining the cruise for the repositioning leg of its journey, Little travelled alone on a discount ticket. His footage is often shot from the perspective of a sober bystander at a drunken party. Shafts of light illuminate abstract bodies moving in and out of the shadows in what appears to be a submerged, watery scene, but gradually as the muffled sound gains clarity, the rhythm of a disco beat links the image with its context. This sort of disorientating transition is key to the film's construction; a means of opening up aesthetic distance between the eye of the camera and his captive subjects who continue their oblivious revelry.
Little's narrative is centred around interviews with passengers who refer to themselves as 'digital nomads'. Working online while drifting untethered across the ocean, their description of daily life aboard is both mystifyingly carefree and humorously delusional. A series of early navigation maps that are obviously inaccurate to the contemporary eye reinforce this evacuation of logic.
Though some of the footage of the shipbreaking yard is extraneous, the overall impression is of the cruise ship as a giant living organism whose lifecycle is of a scale that's impossible for most of its tiny passengers to comprehend.
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