MOMENTA Biennale de l'image

From Septembre 8, 2023 to February 4, 2024

Mother Memory Cellophane

Séamus Gallagher

Imagined as a phantasmic theatre, Mother Memory Cellophane is inspired from an event that took place in 1939, at the New York World’s Fair, whose theme was “World of Tomorrow.” On this occasion, the company DuPont presented Miss Chemistry, a model meant to personify Chemistry and serve as a living advertisement for the world premiere of their nylon stockings. The following year, a survey found Mother, Memory and Cellophane to be the most beautiful words in the English language.

Séamus Gallagher appropriates these words for their own use to create a mashup of stereotypical femininity and synthetic material culture in a drag reincarnation of Miss Chemistry—or more specifically, her ghost. By reviving yesterday’s “world of tomorrow” in a mirage of projections and lenticular printing, the artist explores our contemporary sense of a future in ruins. In this way, Gallagher invites us to embrace and perhaps even slip into history’s unfulfilled prophecies, like a nylon stocking.

This artwork is co-produced by MOMENTA Biennale de l’image.

  •  Séamus Gallagher, <i>Miss Chemistry</i>, 2022
  • Séamus Gallagher, <i>Trylon & Perisphere</i>, 2022
  • Séamus Gallagher, <i>Picture Me Better</i>, 2020

Séamus Gallagher

Séamus Gallagher is a lens-based artist currently living in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia. Infusing queer aesthetics with self-portraiture, video game engines, and set construction, Séamus explores the limits of representation, and failure as a form of liberation. Gallagher’s work has been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, the Portrait Gallery of Canada, and the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, among others.

© Séamus Gallagher

They are a recipient of the Scotiabank 2022 New Generation Photography Award, the 2022 Nova Scotia Emerging Artist Recognition Award, and the 2019 BMO 1st Art Award. They are a finalist for the 2023 Sobey Arts Award.

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image

From September 7 to October 22, 2023

Designed by curator Ji-Yoon Han, Masquerades: Drawn to Metamorphosis aims to explore the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that shape representations of the self and the other from the metamorphic potentials of mimicry.

Deployed in fifteen locations across the city, the biennial program will bring together 23 artists from abroad, representing 15 countries, and from 4 provinces and 4 Indigenous nations of Canada. From one exhibition to the next, processes of transformation, mimicry, and mutation will be activated, questioning the functions of the image, between representation and metamorphosis.

Séamus Gallagher thanks the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support.

Not to be missed!

Exhibition presented as part of MOMENTA Biennale de l’image and produced in partnership with the McCord Stewart Museum.
Thanks to our partners

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Not to be missed!