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The Stars, The Stars

Sarah Kaur

In The Stars, The Stars, a dancer moves in a dark space. Sketched out against the infinite scatter of the night sky, she dances – stretching her body through space and time.

In the summer of 2003 bush fires swept through Canberra. They devastated homes, communities and gutted the Mount Stromlo Observatory. Ten years later the building, which once housed a powerful telescope, is a concrete shell on a mountain.

Technology is used to extend human perception and, to make records that grow our communal knowledge. The Stars, The Stars pushed my camera sensor to the limit of its hi-fidelity recording – its fledgling power enacting a humble homage to the telescope’s once-great nocturnal prowess.

As breaking dawn floods night’s concealing shadows, ravaged Mount Stromlo is exposed. The Observatory's concrete shell, barely containing a defunct stump of iron, is repurposed by a dancer, who moves for the confusion and loss that accompanied the lives of all who felt the 2003 fires.


Sarah Kaur, The Stars, The Stars, 2014, digital video, audio, 5:12 min