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Friday, 2 March 2012

Allison Schulnik "Mound" (2011)

Allison Schulnik gives us the second beautiful example of plasticine animation featured this week. However her four minute film Mound is not something I can precis in easy fashion. I'll start with the chosen screenshot, selected for its grace and symmetry. I could just as easily have attached a grotesquely ugly creation coalescing or separating from its fellows, witches or clowns, or the spawn of Satan. (Though some of the images remind me variously of Goudi's Sagrada Família, or even Prospero's citizens and island in The Tempest, there being a Shakespearean feel to some of the scenes.) But of course what I should have commenced with is to describe the piece as a riveting choreography to a very smooth ballad from the legendary, ultra smooth Scott Walker. And it is truly moving, because out of the unsightly clay, in a frankly theatrical manner, five figures rise up and dance in perfect loveliness, corpses perhaps but brought magically to life for the fleeting moments of the song. Given the closing sequences, the earlier figures are empowered, rendered tragic: macabre gargoyles transformed into angels. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, Allison's free spirited manipulation of the clay and the fluid cinematography of Helder K. Sun combine in an extraordinary work of art.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unusual but that's not to say I did not like it.