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Mar 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Cut it Up

With Kelly Gallagher and Kelly Sears

UnionDocs is excited to bring together the works of animators Kelly Gallagher and Kelly Sears for a night of animated documentary.  While both filmmakers use collage as a form of intervention, challenging institutional records, and imagining other possibilities, the specifics of their practice vary. Gallagher’s handcrafted approach engages animation as a radical and feminist practice of accessible resistance, using craft materials such as glitter, paint, scissors and decorative papers to weave personal, political, and historical accounts of perseverance, defiance and struggle. Sears’ collage style reframes imagery of American archetypes and institutions to reimagine our own social and political legacies and futures, harnessing identifiable cultural and collective narratives while concurrently untethering this identification enough to engage other histories and experiences.

“…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

“Using a variety of forms and styles, such as the found footage essay, collage animation or experimental live action, Gallagher marshals her material into raw statements of anger and intent. This bold and colourful montage aesthetic incorporates paper cut-out collages from magazines or thrift store bookshop finds, 16mm found or confiscated footage, oil painting animation and hand-drawn rotoscoping. Images explode onto the screen in a carnival of colour and iridescence: glitter, thick and sumptuous paint, or purple-tinted translucent oil on clear 16mm leader draw attention to the tactility of the hand-made process involved. Through teaching animation, touring her films at radical film festivals and making her work free and accessible online, Gallagher’s work both provokes and invokes others to share their stories. In doing so, these films celebrate the strength that can be gained from, in the film-maker’s own words, ‘using one’s hand to shape her own stories.” -Sophia Satchell-Baeza for La Furia Umana


More Dangerous Than a Thousand Rioters

6 min, 2016, Kelly Gallagher

An experimental animated documentary exploring the powerful and inspiring life of revolutionary Lucy Parsons.

The Drift

8 min, 2007, Kelly Sears

A mysterious disappearance on a 1960s space journey launches the counter-culture revolution, the government blocks contraband radio broadcasts, and American fervor for conquering space goes too far. Psychedelic Rock, wayward space transmission, underground happenings, the space race, and out of body levitation are part of a condition known as The Drift.

After Fall

3 min, 2018, Kelly Sears

A version of how the following year can unfold, put into motion before the confirmation vote occurs.

My Gossip

15 min, 2018, Kelly Gallagher

A live action animated essay that explores the importance of women’s close friendships.

Pearl Pistols

3 min, 2014, Kelly Gallagher

A glitter-bomb resurrection of a speech by Queen Mother Moore.

Voice on the Line

7 min, 2009, Kelly Sears

Enchanting operators, covert government plots, Cold War paranoia and ordinary telephones forever changed how we got in touch with one another. Voice on the Line is a collage animation made from figures cut out of archival ephemeral films from the late 1950s. This animation mixes the history of these films with events of this era which results in a large scale secret operation that veers bizarrely off course. The film also reflects on current and troubled relationships between the areas of national security, civil liberties and telephone companies. Voice on the Line explores how technology can be used to shape our fears, desires and how we feel connected.

Photographs From My Father

14 min, 2014, Kelly Gallagher

An animated and found footage personal essay film, exploring the relationship between my Father and Uncle, amid old photographs and sports stories. A preservation of memories and example of self care through art production.

Applied Pressure

6 min, 2018, Kelly Sears

Sequential images sourced from dozens of massage books are activated to reflect on recent public conversation from this past year surrounding bodies, massage, and assault.

Pattern for Survival

7 min, 2015, Kelly Sears

Pattern for Survival channels the frenetic energy and aggression of security and preparedness. Speculative threats are rendered as routine directives.

70 min

Kelly Sears lives in Denver, CO.  She uses experimental animation techniques to create work that move between the document, and the document.  Her films have screened at international festivals such as Sundance, Slamdance, South by Southwest, American Film Institute, Ann Arbor, Black Maria, Off+Camera Film Festival, Poland, Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil, France, and Tricky Women in Austria and has been invited to screen her short works in solo programs at Anthology Film Archives, The Pacific Film Archive, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Portland Art Museum, and the SF Cinematheque. Sears is an Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches advanced filmmaking, animation, experimental documentary, and media archeology.

Kelly Gallagher is a filmmaker, animator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University. Her award winning films and commissioned animations have screened internationally at venues including: the Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Art, Sundance Film Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, and Black Maria Film Festival. She’s presented solo programs of her work at institutions including: UnionDocs, the Wexner, Haverford College, UC Santa Cruz, Oberlin, and Sight Unseen, among many others. Kelly enthusiastically organizes and facilitates film workshops, camps, and masterclasses for communities and groups of all ages.

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Mar 10, 2019
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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