Admittedly I don’t know much about contemporary artist Allison Schulnik. Furthermore, I’m not that familiar with Grizzly Bear. Yet all ignorance aside, I am a huge proponent of their collaborative work in “Forest”. In short, it is an incredibly engaging music video shot exclusively in claymation.
As both director and sculptor, Allison Schulnick draws on her ongoing character studies, which is to say the creation of highly tactile oil paintings and clay sculptures of anthropomorphic beings. What’s amazing about this work in particular is the seamlessness surrounding the stop animation – a process which is both meticulous and incredibly time-consuming. Schulnick handles the clay so well throughout the video, that it seems oddly sentient beyond that of depicting distinct personalities and carrying a narrative. Instead, her extreme sensitivity towards the material allows her to stream through various color and contours as she folds characters in on themselves, only to remold the clay into something else entirely. Often times, the concept of creation is inherently bound in a binary with destruction. However in “Forest,” there is a consistent flow of creation and re-creation that – I find – speaks to a more positivistic approach to creativity itself.
Be sure to check out the video above. You have to see it to believe it. And also take a peek at Schulnick’s other work at her website, including paintings, sculptures, and other short claymation films. You can also keep tabs on Grizzly Bear by visiting their official page.