Roy Ananda: Slow crawl into infinity

In 2010 a group of Star Wars fans raised roughly $12,000 to restore the fictional home of Luke Skywalker in the barren desert of Tunisia where Star Wars was filmed. Over 400 people donated to the cause; the site became a destination for die-hard fans as well as a quasi-memorial for the deteriorating props of the film. There’s a performative and artistic quality to this bizarre project; the repurposing of an art object which was originally conceived as an artefact of our future.

The future has been presented in numerous ways in cult films and while technology at the time was unable to create the realism we see in feature films today, its charm and craftsmanship is still well respected and coveted. The original Star Wars films were produced on what would now be considered a modest film budget and were realised through experimentation with process, materials and space. The films retained a two dimensionality (which is still much loved by audiences) and overtime gave reign to legions of fans to recreate, reproduce and rearticulate George Lucas’ original vision.

From one act of Star Wars fandom to another, Roy Ananda presents an ambitious site-specific sculpture that replicates the opening rolling text made famous by the Star Wars film. ‘Slow crawl into infinity’, is an homage, a sculpture, and an example of history, popular culture, and contemporaneity cunningly colliding all at once.

Roy’s practice is process and material driven; it’s calculated and ram shackled, while referencing both high and low art. He utilizes popular culture icons – film, science fiction, and video games as a source of reference and wittily embeds these objects or ideas into his sculptures with precision and effect. The use of space and scale is fundamental to understanding the work, exaggerating the limits of the gallery or the stability of the form itself. We see weightlessness and sheer strength straddle against each other, precariously balancing while you navigate around the work.

Commanding the gallery void, the text rolls down from one level of the gallery to the other. The scale is compounded by the use of rough wood and exposed bolts; a tool of Ananda’s to position the artist within the work and retain a sense of DIY.

The ‘flatness’ of the Star Wars opening scene is transformed into an incredible three dimensional work that wondrously brings life to this iconic set of text. Ananda has cleverly and lovingly created a tangible scale to Star Wars fandom, making infinity feel that little bit closer.

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