“To insert this ultra-lightweight, ultra-modern, ultra-contemporary thing into a hyper-historic site, it’s amazing,” Crooks says. “It’s literally cutting an image out of the place.
“I’m a big fan of the cross section idea. Cut something to see what’s inside and how it works. A lot of my video work is about cutting through the material of time, thinking about time as a volume, as a volumetric thing.
Crooks’ forays into the historic sites of the Sydney Living Museum have not been easy given the intricate and delicate setup required for its robotic camera track rig. But each building or location provided new inspiration.
“State Archives, I mean, wow,” Crooks says. “To stumble through rows and rows of old books and tax records is totally normal. You think, ‘do we need to keep all this?’ But it looks cool.
“Rose Seidler House, how contemporary it still looks. The appliances, dishwasher and oven all look like they’re from yesteryear, while the house, the mid-century modern architecture 20th century, the furniture hasn’t aged at all. It’s incredible.”
He also became fascinated with the perimeter wall of Hyde Park Barracks where an original section met reconstructed additions.
“There’s a beautiful seam that connects the two,” he says. “On one side you have the original sandstone, over 200 years old, laid down at the very beginning of the settlement. On the other side, this newer version of the same project.
“And there is a plane that separates them, this very thin imaginary meniscus line that separates the two ends of the wall.
“I try to connect these disparate spaces, these disparate times into something that is considered valid or coherent. They clearly aren’t, but if you film them in a certain way, you can then recombine them into a sort of seamless tapestry of different spaces and times.
Always fascinated by the existence of a fourth dimension, Crooks hopes that the spectators will move away from Conditions to the limits with a less concrete sense of their world and a different appreciation of colossal LED screens.
“It’s a ride, an artistic experience crossing different worlds, some hard, some dark and some lighter,” he says. ” I can not wait to see it. It’s going to be outrageous.
Boundary Conditions is at Hyde Park Barracks from June 9 to July 31
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