In her exploration of narrative construction, Allison Hrabluik’s visual practice finds its focus in the voices, rhythms and methodologies of storytelling. Her work includes video, sculpture, animation, drawing, performance and text, often to humorous or absurdist ends. With a recent focus on choreography, and collaboration with both dancers and musicians, Hrabluik’s works reveal characters through various narrative processes: so-called documentary objectivity, the messy subjectivity of first-person narration, allegorical third-person perspective, and the generative ambiguity of abstraction.
The Splits, Hrabluik’s most recent video work, combines documentary and narrative in a montage of motion and sound. The camera documents a group of twenty people gathered in a hall to perform. Scissors clip, a rope whirs, the sound of a mouth harp interrupts an operatic scream. The cast includes real-life performers whose skills range from the mundane to the extraordinary: a hula hooper, a singer, a pizza dough thrower, speed skippers, tap dancers, gymnasts and dog trainers. Two men make salami, a woman gets a haircut and someone eats too many hotdogs. Hrabluik’s editing creates an exquisite corpse, connecting the performers as their bodies tap out a spellbinding rhythm.
IMAGE CREDIT: Allison Hrabluik, “The Splits,” 2015 (video still). Digital video. 15:20 with sound. Courtesy the artist.