Tatjana Pieters

ALLISON HRABLUIK / This Is the Way They Make Us Bend

03 Nov - 08 Dec 2013

Allison Hrabluik (1977, CA) will present her second solo exhibition at the gallery with ‘This Is the Way They Make Us Bend’. Hrabluik will premiere a series of animated videos along with works on paper produced during a residency at Cineworks, Vancouver, where she has been working with choreographer Claire French to describe a range of movements for otherwise still objects.

A woman strikes a man (hard). Someone loses his job. A kid loses his bike. A snake it’s skin, a man his mind. Child recounts something unexpectedly clever. The snake’s new skin is iridescent, and smells of roast chicken. Astounding cinematography.

This was going to be my next artist video. It was going to be about life. That there is struggle, that it is hard, but beautiful, with some redemption. You know, the absurdity of it all, the existential questions: hope, love, fear, violence, grace, disaster, devastation, ecstasy.

But the truth is, even with my excellent cinematic skills, the narrative was mediocre. This shouldn’t be so dis-appointing, as it is not the details of a story that make it interesting, but how it is told, and what the details point to.
Often it is the characters that point for us, moving to fulfill their narrative requirements: as woman’s name is called, she turns towards the voice. I wonder if noticing how she turns might tell us more than knowing why, and pause from my script writing to look closely at this question. Instead of narrative driving the movement of a subject, can a subject’s movements be used develop a sense of character?

To answer this question I’ve enlisted the assistance of composer Andrea Young, choreographer Claire French, and a few unwitting participants. We have developed scripts to choreograph this movement, which I have used to make a series of animated videos.

The videos illustrate that how something moves can tell us why it moves, perhaps better than a description of who it is. A three-legged figure with no head in This is the way they make us bend (2013), meticulously follows an absurd set of drawn instructions; two black blobs in A mouth trying to drink from me (2013) continuously change shape to follow an unseen figure beneath them. The directed movement has created characters that are ambiguous but brimming with urgency, confusion, gracefulness, absurdity, and beauty.

Today: away with words, away with descriptions, naming conflict, and setting the scene.

Next week: a luscious, luscious sunset. Enter stage left.

- Allison Hrabluik, October 2013

Allison Hrabluik (1977, CA) lives & works in Vancouver (CA). Her experimental animations have recently been exhibited at The Or Gallery, Vancouver (CA), CUAG, Ottawa (CA), G Gallery, Toronto (CA), MASS MoCA, Massachusetts (USA), Western Bridge, Seattle (USA), Cooley Art Gallery, Portland (USA) and the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (CA).

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