Hi, my name is Anna Craycroft, I was raised in New York City.
As you walk into the space off the elevators, you are entering into the middle a set I have made in order to shoot an animation that will develop over the run of the exhibition. So every week when the museum is closed to the public, I come here to shoot the animation. The new footage every week is then added to the video that screens in the space, to the left if you just come off the elevators, during the rest of the week. The map on the floor with all the black white and gray lines that delineates the parameters of this space of where the shooting is taking place. At one end is the camera on the other side of the glass and the rest of the space is an array of props.
So the set that you’re in is part sculpture, part device. It both functions as a working apparatus and is an installation of objects that have been arranged for view as an exhibition. When I was invited by Johanna Burton and Sara O’Keeffe to make a work for this space, I was really excited to actually develop something specifically for their program. So I wanted to make something that was both a complete exhibition, and a residency that responds to the space and develops over time. And I was eager to make this process really visible to viewers.
The structure of the apparatus, the sort of set and animation apparatus that I’ve built for the show, it’s influenced by two inventions from 20th century– one was made for photography and the other one was made for animation. The photography apparatus that inspired the design of this set was invented by 20th century photographer Berenice Abbott. So Abbott invented a number of different devices that helped her push the boundaries of what photography was able to do in her time but this one that I’m interested in specifically for the show was called SuperSight. The SuperSight camera was an architectural sized device which basically meant that Abbott divided her studio in half with a dividing wall creating a camera obscura that generated macro photography that hadn’t existed to date. The glass wall in the fifth floor really reminded me of Abbott’s supersite camera so I wanted to figure out how to use this glass wall.
And when I was thinking about animation I learned about a devise that was used by three different animators – Max Fleisher, Lotte Reineger and Walt Disney. Each developed… independently developed devices that tried to create a sense of depth with two-dimensional animation. The glass wall in any of those devices was where the animation cell, the drawing on clear plastic film would go. And then behind that and in front of that would be various other prop structures that could be moved to create a real sense of depth. So the set that you’re standing in is really structured in order to have these different layers of visual depth, based on the devices that Fleisher, Reiniger, and Disney each invented.
Audio guide recorded on the occasion of “Anna Craycroft: Motion into Being.”