Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back In Town

by Elizabeth Barsham

I took several photographs of the mountains above Queenstown, but photographers Claire Krouzecky and Raef Sawford spent a full day up on Philosophers Ridge taking turns at set intervals to photograph a 360 degree panorama of the hills. They used old-fashioned 35mm slide film and the hundreds of slides resulting from this day’s work had to be sorted into twelve different sequences of landscape transformed by the changing light as the hours passed.
At night, slides of the surrounding
hills screen in the two large hotel windows
Now everyone is invited to their slide show as twelve projectors click away continuously, casting views of the approaches to the town onto screens in various windows along Orr St. Images may occupy two full shop windows or be a couple of tiny changing pictures among the hand-written advertisements on the community noticeboard. Sometimes the context is too appropriate or too strange - for example, those in a souvenir shop seem to be advertising posters for sale, while those in the window of the butcher’s shop or the laundry are at first glance odd and irrelevant, but then comes the “aha” moment and the joy of discovery at recognising another piece of the installation.

It is a pity the artists have done themselves a disservice by bad writing in the festival programme – the description of their installation is meaningless jargon, but they have certainly succeeded in their aim of bringing “the essence of the surrounding hills into the township”. It is a neat reversal – a small town dominated by the landscape now encloses and re-contextualises that same landscape.
perspectus – multi-channel projection by Claire Krouzecky and Raef Sawford

Queenstown - a small town dominated
by the landscaep

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