Nick Bontrager is an interdisciplinary artist whose work and research explores the physical and conceptual nature of the moving image, game-based interactions and exchanges, and the idea of replicas or facsimiles as tools of preservation or understanding.
For the OJAC’s Cell Series, Bontrager has conceived of an installation of his work based on a U.S. Army field manual titled FM 21-76 Survival. Published in 1957, the intent of the manual was to provide basic techniques to enable soldiers to survive harsh conditions. One of Bontrager’s interests in this particular publication is the hand-drawn images and their associated proximity to the era of the Vietnam War and America’s counter-culture movement of the 1960s. His installation of imagery, films, and objects will employ display techniques normally associated with science and history museums to allow viewers to “contemplate how our contemporary culture attributes a narrative or historical importance to objects and imagery.”
The 2019 Cell Series is generously supported by McGinnis Family Fund of Communities of Texas in loving memory of Juli Weida McGinnis, 1941-2018, Kathy Webster in memory of Charles H. Webster, Barbra & Jay Clack, Susie & Joe Clack, Jenny & Rob Dupree, Patrick & Amy Kelly and The Moody Foundation.