Bear Attack (2015)
Bear Attack (2015) is the first in a trio of multi-sensory installations dissecting human interaction, relationships and expectations. The sculpture is comprised of a large-scale photographic triptych, the written word, a multi-layered soundtrack, video, taxidermy, and “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” all posited as accoutrements of the “urban bear”.
Bear Attack describes a journey to the shadow world where men hold the same dangerous attributes as bears. It explores the heinous fear that often hides in plain sight; in this case, a relationship between a man and woman (the artist). A national park sign that Kellems Dominik came across while hiking in Jackson, Wyoming read “Be alert. Make noise. Carry bear spray. Avoid hiking alone. Do not run,” which informed the pursuant series. Men can have the tendency to savagely transform and become “the bear” that walks amongst us, the rapist, the abuser – a metaphorical incarnation of the Bear Attack. Making reference to current issues surrounding sexual violence and misconduct through movements such as #MeToo and poised as a reaction to the “Roofie Drug” culture, Kellems Dominik penned an essay which serves as genesis for this work. Kellems Dominik states: “Terror is explored through three phases of a young woman’s life: collegiate, young adulthood, and established womanhood”. Despite the young woman’s intelligence, worldliness and command of her environment, she is unable to protect herself emotionally and/or physically from the insidious nature of the “Bear”. Love, hope, desire, need, and longing are perverted into something dangerous, terrifying, and unexpected. This perversion prevents the innocent target of the series from understanding the near and present danger until it is far too late.