Old Growth (2021)
4K video, 8 minutes 30 seconds (looped)
Old Growth observes the automated climate-controlled systems required to maintain a Camellia tree at Pillnitz Castle in Dresden. The tree was planted in its current location in 1801, and has been protected ever since, initially by intricate wooden and glass structures that were erected each winter, and dismantled each spring. In 1992 however, these structures were replaced with a permanent glass house, mounted on tracks that enable it to be moved towards and away from the tree whenever needed.
According to legend, the tree is the last surviving specimen brought from Japan to Europe by Swedish botanist Karl Peter Thunberg following a trip to Japan in 1779. Rob Crosse approaches his film through and with the motion of the glass house that keeps this Camellia tree alive, addressing questions of belonging, care, strangeness and perpetuity.