Alison O'Daniel

Alison O’Daniel: The Sex Life of Mushrooms

Working in experimental and documentary film, performance, sculpture, and installation, Alison O’Daniel structures her work as a call-and-response between mediums and meanings. Her collaborations with composers and musicians often highlight the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels, building a visual, aural, and haptic vocabulary as a means to tell stories inspired by events that are both historic and quotidian. 

For her project at the Hammer, O'Daniel will film The Tuba Thieves: The Sex Life of Mushrooms on the stage in the courtyard with two actors, a musician, a film crew and American Sign Language interpreters. The scene will be filmed in American Sign Language as the characters perform their daily morning routine: they eat breakfast, become absorbed in the content of their laptop and books, eat grapefruit, check in about their days. The quotidian domestic scene will be accompanied by live music performed by SK Kakraba, a Ghanaian performer who plays a Gyil (a wooden xylophone) shifting diagetically between the scene and the stage as the characters discuss his music playing on the radio. Real-time captions of the dialogue provided by an American Sign Language captionist will play like filmic sub-titles on a screen below the stage. As the scene is filmed, the captions and the live music will be affected by the shotlist, film takes, and continuity. The final scene will be incorporated into the feature edit along with all the other finished scenes.

This program is organized by Anne Ellegood, senior curator.