Alison O’Daniel’s new body of sculptural work was inspired by the musical score to her upcoming feature-length film The Tuba Thieves (one scene of which will be shown concurrently in LA Louver’s Rogue Wave exhibition, alongside a second set of sculptures). For this score, O’Daniel commissioned three composers (Ethan Frederick Greene, Christine Sun Kim, and Steven Roden) to respond to poems and other nuanced references that she set up as a basis for their musical compositions. O’Daniel’s sculptures translate her own physical experience of listening to the score into narratives that contribute to a larger biographical imaginary. O’Daniel treats them as expanded cinematic forms, each object with its own narrative arc examining non-verbal communication.
O’Daniel—who is inspired by her own hearing impairment—uses sound as a way to inform the visual grammar of her films and sculpture. Her work evolves through situations of missed information, absence of detail, and blank spaces, which strive to open up new relationships between the body and knowledge: “Knowing is different when you don’t have access to information. [It] becomes abstract, psychedelic, profound, broad, exciting – a precipice where the imagination steps in to round out capability.”
‘Quasi closed-captions’ refers to O’Daniel’s interest in the differences in content between information conveyed in subtitles for a Deaf or a hard of hearing audience, and the actual words or sound being delivered, despite the general subtext remaining the same for both. Throughout this expanded body of work, her sculptural objects, film, and score act as quasi closed-captions for one another.
O’Daniel’s previous feature-length film Night Sky premiered at the Anthology Film Archive in conjunction with Performa 11 and the exhibition Walking Forward-Running Past at Art In General, New York. The film has been presented with live musical accompaniment by various musicians or with live Sign Language accompaniment at The Nightingale (Chicago), MOCAD (Detroit), NYU, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Jurassic Technology and other venues. Her own writing on Night Sky was recently featured in Artforum’s 500 Words. O’Daniel is a recent recipient of an Art Matters grant and a Franklin Furnace Fund fellowship and just completed a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She holds an MFA from the University of Irvine, a Postgraduate Diploma from Goldsmith’s College, a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. O’Daniel (b. 1979 in Miami FL) lives and works in Los Angeles.