The Tuba Thieves
Alison O’Daniel combines film, performance, sculpture, and installation as a call-and-response between mediums. By collaborating with hearing, Deaf and Hard of Hearing artists, she highlights the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels.Artist Bio
The Tuba Thieves fictionalizes real events and lived experiences through a cinematic language that mirrors the experience of being hard of hearing: overlapping narratives, obscured visual framing, and captions that present a third narrative equal to image and sound. The film unfolds between 2011 and 2013 during a rash of tuba thefts from Los Angeles schools. Nyke Prince and Geovanny Marroquin play fictionalized versions of their lives. Nyke, who is Deaf, is given a drum kit and an empty practice room and navigates her relationship to music with her hearing boyfriend and hearing father. In other parts of Los Angeles, Geovanny and other high school students impacted by the tuba thefts perform at football games and hang out after school. Their stories are interrupted by reenactments of historic concerts where audiences experienced music through ‘silence’—John Cage’s 1952 premiere of 4’33” where a pianist sat at a piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds without playing a note. Second, the 1979 final punk show at the Deaf Club in San Francisco, a social club for the Deaf that hosted west coast punk shows. And lastly, Prince’s surprise 1984 free concert at the Deaf University Gallaudet on his Purple Rain tour.
The Tuba Thieves premiered at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on January 22, 2023.
Los Angeles, CA
Alison O’Daniel combines film, performance, sculpture, and installation as a call-and-response between mediums. Cinema, performance, sound-dampening textiles, sculptures, mobiles, and large-scale installations foreground process, collaboration, and material. The artist collaborates with hearing, Deaf and Hard of Hearing composers, performers, athletes, and musicians in order to highlight the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels, and to build a visual, aural, and haptic vocabulary as a means to tell stories inspired by events that are both historic and quotidian.
O’Daniel has presented solo exhibitions at Art In General, New York; Samuel Freeman Gallery and Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles; Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest. Her work was featured in Made in LA 2018 at the Hammer Museum, and The Infinite Ear at Garage Contemporary Art Museum in Moscow. She has received grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Center for Cultural Innovation, Art Matters, Franklin Furnace Fund, the California Community Foundation, and attended residencies at the Wexner Center Film/Video Studio Program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. O’Daniel received a BFA in Fibers and Material Studies from the Cleveland Institute of Art, a Post-graduate Diploma of Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a MFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine.
From the Journal
- Alison O’Daniel’s Sundance Film Festival Premiere: The Tuba Thieves January 20, 2023
- Alison O’Daniel: The Tuba Thieves Premiere at Sundance January 22 – 27, 2023
- Access in Content and Form October 1, 2020