This April marks 10 years since Allison Hrabluiks first solo exhibition in Vancouver. Entitled Rossendale, the installation (which opened at the Western Front) featured a pixilated video of a busy farmer and a scaled-down barnyard film set. In her Georgia Straight review of the show, Robin Laurence noted, In a time when so much creative and critical focus is on urban and suburban subjects, few contemporary artists are considering rural or agricultural life.
While it is true that the setting for Rossendale distinguished Hrabliuks art from that of her more city-centric peers, the themes carried in the work are consistent with if not in advance of an emerging generation of artists interested in narrative, material process, low technologies and labour. Like many of these artists, Hrabluik is less interested in the difference between farm life and the life of an artist than in what these lives have in common.
For her most recent video, The Splits, Hrabluik assembled 20 performers, from a hula-hooper and a pizza dough thrower to tap dancers and dog trainers. She captured them all in action on video and, through a compelling display of audio and visual editing, brought them even closer to form a rhythmic, if at times overwhelming, whole.