Daniel Crooks
The Sub­tle Knife

28th November 2022 – 19th March 2023
Murray Art Museum Albury

In The Sub­tle Knife, Daniel Crooks takes us on a con­tem­pla­tive jour­ney through time and space. Mov­ing slow­ly down a nev­er-end­ing train track, the scenery dis­ap­pears into a series of con­stant­ly reced­ing frames, form­ing a sur­re­al land­scape of alter­nate realms and infi­nite­ly expand­ing possibilities. 

As the cam­era pans back­wards on a course that smooth­ly shifts between aban­doned inte­ri­ors and emp­ty rail­way lines, an infi­nite chain of mir­rored por­tals shrink along the tracks in the rear-view. These spec­tral shapes punc­tur­ing the shift­ing hori­zon evoke the con­cept of the sub­tle knife’ – the blade from author Philip Pullman’s His Dark Mate­ri­als series that can tease apart the fab­ric of space and time, cut­ting new paths into alter­nate uni­vers­es. The work also harkens back to the phan­tom ride films of the 1890s and ear­ly 1900s, in which a cam­era strapped to the front of a vehi­cle films the tracks and scenery ahead while the vehi­cle itself was left unseen. Crooks cap­tured the per­fect­ly con­stant track­ing shots by using a cus­tom-devel­oped motion con­trol sys­tem, painstak­ing­ly stitched togeth­er in post-pro­duc­tion to become a seam­less jour­ney through a com­pos­ite world.

Images

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds

Daniel Crooks

The Sub­tle Knife, 2016
(still) HD video, 1080p 24, 16:9, stereo
8 min­utes 23 seconds