Say Something Bunny! Gallery TPW February 2016

Say Something Bunny!
February 13 – March 26, 2016

Gallery TPW
170 St Helens Ave, Toronto

Performance Dates:
Friday, February 5, 8pm (Performance Preview)
Saturday, February 6, 8pm
Friday, February 12, 8pm
Saturday, February 13, 2pm, opening reception at 5pm

Alison S.M. Kobayashi is an identity contortionist. In her work, Kobayashi performs a variety of characters that are both studiously and playfully rendered. These personas are inspired by Kobayashi’s extensive collection of lost, discarded and donated objects; ranging from answering machine tapes purchased at a secondhand shop to a love letter left on a sidewalk. Through repeated interaction with the objects — deep listening, research, re-enactment and play — narratives and imagery begin to manifest and inspire new work. The results are funny, low-fi artifacts of an artist embodying the lives of others.

With Say Something Bunny! Kobayashi presents a new performance and exhibition based on two audio spools hidden inside an obsolete wire recorder purchased at an estate sale. The recordings capture the voices of a New York family spanning 1952 to 1954. The narrative contained in the recording is a puzzle peppered with fragmented and overlapping dialogue, a charming living room drama rich with the eccentricities of family dynamics performed for the tape recorder. Decoding the document and using it as both soundtrack and inspiration, Kobayashi creates a new installation containing videos, drawings and a book work that reimagine the events, characters, and references from the recording.

Over several performances, an intimate audience is privy to a script ‘read through’ where Kobayashi acts as both director and performer, contextualizing the recording with her research (and imagination) and tangentially exploring character’s personal histories — from the Ivy league to the pornographic. In Kobayashi’s practice, “personal histories get farther from fact as we learn to tell a better story.” Say Something Bunny! plays with what authentic memory is, preserving narrative details from source material and fictionalizing the rest.