March 13–April 17, 2017
In her experimental animation practice, Kelly Sears appropriates imagery from American culture and politics to create an interventionist history. Her work stems from the use of both archival imagery and thrift-store cast-offs—investigating contemporary narratives of power such as manifest destiny, surveillance, and occupation. In Pattern for Survival, Sears collages and animates imagery from a variety of sources that speak to survivalist techniques. The imagery includes vintage images of men and women working out, black and white illustrations of men hunting/preparing for a hunt, techniques from a First Aid handbook as well as imagery of a food processor in action. These are interspersed with text taken from the US Army Survival Guide. The phrases and instructions include “A key ingredient in any survival situation is the mental attitude of the individual(s) involved,” “Learn to make yourself comfortable in less than ideal conditions,” and “Plan your moves.” In these tumultuous times, the artist reminds the viewer there is nothing wrong with always being prepared.