“Even during the twelve years prior to beginning the MUSEUM series (Arcanum, 1992; Arcanum Museum 1995; Museum of the Colonial Post Colonial 1997—2003), the underpinning philosophy of my work might be seen to be something relative to Newton’s First Law of Motion — about equilibrium [and] equal and opposite forces translated here as what one perceives to be, has an equal opposite-ness to it — the invisible light that registers upon infrared film as opposed to the human brain; the (unfathomable) reality of the other eschewed by the hegemonic mechanisms of power as opposed to the histories and rules we read in books or are taught as part of our social and cultural upbringing.
The MUSEUM series was conceived to contemplate the veracity of Photography, The Museum, The Archive and those mechanisms of History — and their erosion — in what has been described as the digital age. Its totality constitutes a (stifled) joke, inviting one to consider how much it blurs the conceptual strictures between comforting notions of resistance (from any side) and sober consideration of what might actually have happened, with all its frequent anxieties, fear and countervailing complexities.
Writer and artist Professor Ian North has said of the MUSEUM series, ‘One may readily detect a strong sub-text of desire in Cruickshank’s work for an “impossible” mutuality. In erecting boundaries he is also leaving them open to demolition, allowing access to a more just and mediated future, even as he invokes by ironic contrast a grim, confronting past’. (Alan Cruickshank, The Arcanum Museum, exh. cat. Adelaide: Cruickshank Pty Ltd, 1995).”
(Alan Cruickshank 2006)