Monday, 9 November 2009

Grizzly Bear: Ready, Able

Break out the clay – it’s time for another indie-folk video! Grizzly Bear’s the band in question this time, but after the Low Anthem’s brilliant clip for “Charlie Darwin,” we’re beginning to see a trend. Did a Brooklyn Play-Doh factory explode?

The sculpting for Grizzly Bear’s “Ready, Able” comes from artist Allison Schulnik, who crafts some sad clay Sasquatches to accompany the Veckatimest single. One glance at her website shows that these multicolored forest-monsters are her stock in trade, and she has not altered her approach one bit.

There’s no denying that these creations are visually fascination. Like a kiddie-clay Monet, Shulnik putting her medium’s imperfections front and center, never letting you forget you are looking at capital-a Art. The monsters melt, morph, and, in an unwelcome diversion from the clayscape, get abducted by a cellophane spaceship.

As art, it’s both progressive and nostalgic, visually stimulating and meticulously constructed. However, one gets the feeling that this was created independent of the song. Had another band come around looking for their next video, Schulnik may have shipped this footage to them. In fact, the whole thing is basically a less-cogent version of Schulnik’s fascinating “Hobo Clown” clip, available at her website and well worth a look.

By all means, watch this video and be amazed. If Grizzly Bear isn’t your thing though, put on some U2, Slayer, or anything else. It’ll work just as well.

Verdict: 3/5 stars

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