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Say Something Bunny on NOW’s Favourite Shows of 2016

The Toronto visual arts community chooses its favourite shows of 2016

We surveyed artists, curators and our own writer to see which 2016 shows moved them most. Their answers reveal an immense range of artistic visions.

Link to article: https://nowtoronto.com/art-and-books/art/toronto-best-art-shows-of-2016/

Photorama at Gallery TPW

Alison S.M. Kobayashi, JULIETTE Moore, Child Actress, 2016

I’m including a rare photographic print of my work in this year’s Photorama fundraiser for Gallery TPW.

Collector’s Preview Thursday, November 24, 2016, 6 – 9 pm
Opening Reception Friday, November 25, 2016, 6 – 9 pm

Sale continues Saturday, November 26 – Saturday, December 3, 2016, 12 – 6 pm

We will be open Sunday, November 27, 12 – 6 pm and closed on Monday, November 28

Admission to Photorama is FREE.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Gallery TPW’s annual Photorama fundraising exhibition, featuring over 100 artists exhibiting contemporary photography and lens-based work.

A complete list of participating artists is available online at gallerytpw.ca/photorama2016

Rites of Passage Performance with Ohbijou

Photos from Sunday, November 13th premiere of Rites of Passage including Music is Magic or Goddamn You, Half-Japanese Girls and the live score by Ohbijou.

Brooklyn Rail: Interview by Tess Takahashi

Alison S. M. Kobayashi’s new multimedia performance piece, Say Something Bunny!, first shown in Toronto at Gallery TPW this past winter, combines found and invented documents, theatrical staging, costumes, props, and multiple screens. Kobayashi and Allen’s striking re-imagination of the life and times of a Jewish family is based on a fragment of whose story was captured on a wire recorder in the 1940s. Out of this found recording emerges not only the chronicle of an era that reaches into the 1970s, but also the surprising story of David, to whom this unusual device once belonged.

Say Something Bunny! grows out of both Allen’s organizational and documentary work as founder of UnionDocs and Kobayashi’s performance-based videos, which playfully bring to life the intimate experiences of those connected to a variety of found documents: a note between high-schoolers that Kobayashi once discovered on the road in From Alex to Alex, and an old answering machine cassette that once belonged to the recently divorced Dan Carter, which features the voices of his son, his wife, and his new lover. In a similar vein, Say Something Bunny employs humor, pathos, and imagination combined with meticulous historical research and innovative staging to produce an audience experience that’s both great fun and seriously thought provoking.

In what follows, Kobayashi, Allen, and I explore their process of turning a nearly illegible seventy-year-old recording into a concrete and moving multimedia experience.

CONTINUE READING

Music is Magic in Rites of Passage, Reel Asian Film Festival

Sunday November 13, 2016
7 pm
Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto

Buy Tickets

MUSIC by Ohbijou (in attendance)

FILMMAKERS
Alison S. M. Kobayashi, Casey Mecija, Shasha Nakhai, Leslie Supnet and May Truong

Working from personal home videos, filmmakers Kobayashi, Mecija, Nakhai, Supnet and Truong use experimental editing techniques, animation and documentary interviews to reflect on their understandings of cultural heritage and personal identities through their experiences with love, fear and womanhood.

This collection of commissioned works will premiere alongside an original live musical score composed by Canadian orchestral pop band Obhijou. In 2013, Ohbijou announced they would go on indefinite hiatus, citing a need for “time to take pause and allow for new experiences,” and a discomfort with the way that constructions of otherness had confined readings of their work to a single narrative. Obhijou’s performance at Reel Asian will be their first time reuniting in three years – a rare opportunity for fans.

This project was made possible through funding from the Inter-Action Multiculturalism Program supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Dan Carter at aCinema, Milwaukee

Dan Carter included in the first program by new Milwaukee screening series, aCinema.
October 28th, 2016
7pm
PMat Woodland Pattern Book Center.

Screening artists include Kim KielhofnerAlison SM KobayashiColleen PlumbEeva SiivonenJosh Yates, and more.

http://www.acinema.space/

It is Queer Up North: Canadian Experimental

Alex to Alex has been included in a program by Collectivo Toronto presented at Club Cultural Matienzo, Buenos Aires.
Wednesday December 14th, 8pm
1249 Pringles, Buenos Aires

For more information about the program or about Collectivo Toronto visit: http://guillerminabuzio.com/Colectivo-Toronto

Open Ears, Kitchener

Open Ears

Fri, May 27, 2016 9:00pm
Sun, Jun 26, 2016 11:59am
Kitchener Sky Gallery
12-34 Young St Kitchener, ON, N2H 6P6 Canada

Curated by Karie Liao

When Open Ears wanted to animate the Cube in City Hall with a reel of GIFs that would tie-in to our festival theme - ReReRe – we immediately appealed to Karie Liao, former artistic director of CAFKA, for help in creating something weird and wonderful. Take a moment during the installation dates to look up and see something you’ve never, ever seen before.

People of the Future is a curated series of GIFs inspired by synesthesia, a condition in which the response of one sense is met with the experience of another; “feeling” images, “smelling” sounds, or “tasting” colours. This GIF reel is comprised of recent and new works by Jennifer Chan (Toronto), Clint Enns (Toronto), Winston Hacking (Toronto), Alison S.M. Kobayashi (Toronto/New York), Jodie Mack (Chicago/Vermont), and Phillip David Stearns (New York).

Although these artists have practices with distinct styles and processes, their work often incorporates found materials, animation, video, film, and new media, and shares the strong characteristic of heightened visual and visceral tactility. Winston Hacking and Jodie Mack employ handmade and analog animation techniques in their GIFs that mimic the characteristics of modern technology. Similarly, Alison S.M. Kobayashi’s GIFs incorporates retro technology but focuses on the hidden narratives found in these discarded objects. Like the other three artists, Jennifer Chan and Clint Enns are cultural scavengers. They appropriate found imagery and employ amateur aesthetics to create GIFs that critique media conventions and Internet culture, conjuring mixed feelings of suspended disbelief, nostalgia, humour, and discomfort. Phillip Stearns’ featured work is an investigation of computerized vision and behavior. His GIFs resonate with natural cyclical processes and anthropomorphic qualities that evoke a sense of familiarity and synchronized rhythm in the viewer. These visually affective and engaging GIFs will be exhibited on The Cube, an immense two-sided projected surface located high atop Kitchener City Hall. The Cube can be seen for miles. This GIF reel will provide much-needed creative visual excitement in the current day-to-day landscape of ubiquitous mundane commercial digital imagery.

In some sense those who experience synesthesia can be considered “people of the future” as they are able to experience reality in more forms than the average person. In our current digital age, saturated with sound and imagery, this series of GIFs may stimulate onlookers’ intuition and articulate a hypothetical future, in which we are all synesthetes experiencing our surroundings in an even more complete way.

GIF reel includes:

1.     Fluctuation, Phillip David Stearns

2.     3D GIF/Chromaflex Loop/ Confused Rain/ Debbie Does ASCII (loop)/ Decay LoopSelf Improvement (Loop)/ UFO, Clint Enns

3.     Forced Reps, Winston Hacking

4.     Cam Twist, Jennifer Chan

5.     Desperate, Jennifer Chan

6.     Webster Chicago, Alison S.M. Kobayashi

7.     Unsubscribe #3: Glitch Envy, Jodie Mack

8.   Lament II, Phillip David Stearns

Review of Say Something Bunny in Art F City

“Having received from a friend a 64 year old wire recording purchased at an estate sale, the Toronto and Brooklyn-based artist manages to unspool a multigenerational yarn of Rothian heights.” MORE HERE.

Alison S.M. Kobayashi and Christopher Allen in conversation with Tess Takahashi

Thursday, March 24, 2016, 8pm
Gallery TPW, 170 St. Helen’s Ave, Toronto

In conjunction with the exhibition Say Something Bunny! join Alison Kobayashi, Christopher Allen and Tess Takahashi for drinks and conversation about live documentary, identity contortion, reenactment, play, staging, research, family dynamics, and whatever else you want to bring to the table.

Participant Biographies:
Tess Takahashi is a Toronto-based scholar, writer, and programmer. She is currently working on two book projects, Impure Film: Medium Specificity and the North American Avant-Garde (1968-2008) and Magnitude: the Abstraction, the Imprint, the Encounter, and the Elsewhere. She is a member of the experimental media programming collective Pleasure Dome and the editorial collective for Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media. Her writing has been published there, as well as in Cinema Journal, Millennium Film Journal, Animation, MIRAGE, and Cinema Scope.

Alison Kobayashi’s short videos have been exhibited and screened widely in Canada, the United States and overseas. She was a guest artist at the 2008 Flaherty Film Seminar and her body of work was a Spotlight Presentation at Video Out, Jakarta International Film Festival, Indonesia and she is a 2016 MacDowell Colony fellow. In 2012, she was commissioned by Les Subsistances in Lyon, France to produce her first live performance, Defense Mechanism. Alison S. M. Kobayashi was born in Mississauga, Ontario and is based in Toronto and Brooklyn, NY where she is the Director of Special Projects at UnionDocs, Center for Documentary Art.

Christopher Allen is a producer of documentary media projects and a programmer of multi-disciplinary events. After graduating from Columbia University and studying at Trinity College Dublin, he co-founded UnionDocs, a Center for Documentary Art, and has been responsible for the organization’s growth from grassroots as the Executive Artistic Director. He has initiated many collaborative projects, uniting the creative efforts of hundreds of artists, documentary makers and communities, including Living Los Sures, Documenting Mythologies, Capitol of Punk and Yellow Arrow, which have been exhibited in festivals, galleries, and museums internationally. For the past two years, he has been included in Brooklyn Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture. He collaborates on media and performance projects with artist A.S.M. Kobayashi.