Thursday, September 10, 2015, 7:30 pm

Something Is Wrong With These Pictures

Films by Kelly Sears


992 Valencia Street (at 21st Street)

San Francisco, CA 94110

Kelly Sears In Person
Presented in association with the Department of Film & Media, UC Berkeley
Admission: $10 general/$5 Cinematheque members
Advance tickets available here
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Witty, savvy, ironic, poetic, exhilarating, even cosmic...Sears’ works afford the viewer a sort of wormhole into a parallel universe… made entirely of things we nonetheless recognize. This is the uncanny principle that Ms. Sears so unerringly parlays, rendering collage-animation singularities out of institutional media. Something is wrong with these pictures, things are not what they seem, appearances are mere cover-ups for the real power plays behind the panels. (Craig Baldwin: “Archive in the Sky”)

 Toiling consistently over the past decade-and-a-half, stealthily infiltrating our nation’s vast ideological image banks, Kelly Sears has created a remarkable dossier of animated digital video documents chronicling the American gothic substratum with paranoid aplomb. With an anti-nostalgic attitude toward repurposed mid-century kitsch, Sears’ sinister sub-narratives pick at the psychological traumas embodied in our nation’s institutions and peer behind the official veils of national self-image. In the process, American ambitions turn nightmarish, revealing deep malaise within the collective unconscious; always there, always hidden in plain view. Tonight’s screening represents a 2008–2015 mini-retrospective of Sears’ digital-video collage animations including: Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise, described by Art Lies as “a mix between Carrie and Charles Burns’ Black Hole”; The Drift, an unsettling astronaut saga; He Hates to Be Second and The Body Besieged, paired films on masculine and feminine imperatives; Cold War surveillance studies Voice on the Line and Cover Me Alpha; storm-watcher psychodramas Tropical Depression and Jupiter Elicius; and Sears’ most recent film, Pattern for Survival. (Steve Polta)

image above: Kelly Sears: Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise (2011)