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Boundary Conditions by Daniel Crooks at Hyde Park Barracks

  • Art, Installation
  1. Image an Art Installation at Sydney Living Museums
    Photograph: Supplied/Joshua Morris for Sydney Living Museums
  2. An image juxtaposing old and new architecture
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. An image juxtaposing old and new architecture
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. Portrait of artist Daniel Crooks
    Photograph: SuppliedDaniel Crooks

Time Out says

An ambitious new video installation at the museum brings past and present together in a mesmerising, large-scale experience

Hyde Park Barracks is one of Sydney’s museum treasures: a beautifully preserved piece of convict architecture so impressive that its architect, convicted forger Francis Greenway, received an absolute pardon from Governor Macquarie on the building’s completion in 1819. Today, it’s blessed with many relics of colonial Sydney, along with a marvellous interactive, audio-guided tour, and tells the story of the founding of Sydney (and the subjugation of its Indigenous inhabitants) as vividly as any institution in the nation.

One of the features that keeps it a vibrant place to visit is the Hyde Park Barracks Annual Art Commission, whereby a major artist installs a temporary work responding to the site. This year, Melbourne-based artist Daniel Crooks has been enlisted along with his new video installation, ‘Boundary Conditions’

Presented on a giant monolithic screen hovering in the building’s courtyard, ‘Boundary Conditions’ juxtaposes the past and the present, the virtual and the real. It’s an artwork designed to resonate in our own period of change and uncertainty, manipulating slices of time that are not normally visible.   

Crooks has used specially captured footage of Sydney Living Museums’ historic sites in this work which invites viewers to reconsider their understanding of history and reality, and also to reappraise the site of the Hyde Park Barracks itself.

The artwork is in place until July 31 and is free to view – you can see it in the museum courtyard without buying a ticket (although we heartily recommend you do that as well).

Accompanying the installation are programs that delve into the digital world of Daniel Crooks. These include hands-on workshops in the magic of electronic sound creation for kids aged 8-12; a conversation with composer Byron Scullin, who composed and created the soundscape for ‘Boundary Conditions’; and an After Dark at the Hyde Park Barracks event diving deep into the piece with Crooks in conversation, a line up of experimental musicians curated by Scullin, and food and drink by Archie Rose, OzHarvest and Nighthawk Diner. 

This installation is the third artwork created for Sydney Living Museums’ art commission at Hyde Park Barracks. The site-specific annual commission launched in 2020 with ‘Untitled (Maraong Manaóuwi)’ by Wiradjuri/ Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, followed in 2021 by artist Fiona Hall’s installation ‘Who Goes Here?’.


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