Archive for December 21st, 2008

21
Dec
08

Review: ‘Intersection’ by Daniel Crooks at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 28th November – 20th December 2008

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“The subjects of Daniel Crook’s oeuvre; the recurrence of city transport systems, lifts in high-rise buildings alongside images of the sea, invoke an idea of the world made as much of time as space and that indeed we ourselves are also made of time …
Crooks works, literally, from inside the medium, deconstructing its time-space matrix to reveal the inner truth about the subjects of video: they are purely temporal.
The five works comprising Intersection are all sourced from the same ‘volume’ of video footage. Each video is a formal variation that navigates an alternative path through the same light field, pushing its own ‘picture plane’ through the space along opposing axes.
The two most figurative videos navigate the entire volume of footage – each swapping time for the vertical or the horizontal. The second, more abstracted videos are reduced to horizontal and vertical ‘planes’. The centre work – a single pixel of information that tunnels through time – is the intersection between opposing axes, almost like the fulcrum or nodal point, and in turn acts as a pivot for the installation.” 

Catalogue notes from Daniel Crooks exhibition Intersection at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

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This was a magical exhibition – beautiful, insightful and mesmerising in equal parts. Five large video screens were presented in the long space of the Anna Schwartz gallery in Melbourne. The outer two videos feature striated horizontal and vertical bands of pulsating colours, fluxing up and down and from side to side, seemingly rushing past like tarmac outside a moving car. These videos add balance at each end of the installation.

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Daniel Crooks. 'Intersection No.2 (vertical plane)' 2008

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Daniel Crooks
Intersection No.2 (vertical plane)
2008

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The inner videos on either side of the central panel are the most figurative of the work: the video on the left-hand side reminded me of a Jackson Pollock drip painting come alive, ribbons of paint in time and space morphing backwards, finally coalescing into figures and their shadows walking across tarmac; the video on the right-hand side shows people moving across a pedestrian intersection like an animated slow motion photograph flowing anamorphically across the screen, their shadows distorted on the ground as trams pass behind them. Up close the surface of the projected video breaks down into grided squares of light, hypnotic in their blooming, shape-shifting colours.

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Daniel Crooks. 'Intersection No.5 (horizontal volume)' 2008

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Daniel Crooks
Intersection No.5 (horizontal volume)
2008

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Daniel Crooks. 'Intersection No.4 (vertical volume)' 2008

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Daniel Crooks
Intersection No.4 (vertical volume)
2008

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The central panel is the key to the whole work. Intensities of colour flash and fade in time with atmospheric ambient music (by J. David Franz and Byron Scullin) that works effectively with the whole installation. Beeps of the pedestrian crossing intersection intersperse the ambient music adding an almost sonar like pinging to the atmospheric soundtrack; after-images appear and glow as the colours fade, transcending the solidity of the ever-changing single pixel of colour taken through the block of video time. The pyrotechnics of the other screens are balanced by the colours/intensities/music of this central panel.

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Daniel Crooks. 'Intersection' exhibition installation view at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

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Intersection installation view at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

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The installation reminds me of a folded out five-panel religious altarpiece form of the 15th century. The figures, shadows and lines of the outer videos surround the pulsing heart of the central panel that, for me, took on an almost transcendent spirituality (especially when you understand the transcendence of time and space that is being achieved and how that relates to your own path in life). If you stand very still against the far wall of the gallery and look at all five videos at the same time the central panel achieves the ‘Intersection’ that Daniel Crooks is imagining. Subtle, profound and intelligent the viewer is invited to spend time, no, to transcend time in the company of this work and that is a major achievement: to reveal certain truths about our existence in these moments of time, to inhabit the space between breath – no time, no space.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Anna Schwartz Gallery
185 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday 12 – 6pm
Saturday 1 – 5pm

Anna Schwartz Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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