“Bridget Moser is a Toronto-based artist who works predominantly in performance and video. Her work occupies the territory between prop comedy, experimental theatre, absurd literature, existential anxiety, intuitive dance, Dr. Phil transcripts, the internet, etc.”
Moser began at a very young age with dance lessons and drama classes
“Acting from an intersection of performance art, stand-up comedy, experimental dance and theatre, Moser’s gestures are a potent blend of funny and anxious.” – Canadian Art
Moser did a little bit of performance art while still in school but really began afterwards when she attended an experimental comedy course in her residency at The Banff Centre. She now does performances both live and on video. She has performed at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union, 8-11, Artspace, and Doored, as well as other galleries and at some universities.
Her performances are seemingly random scenes and clips taken out of different contexts, using different props, costumes, characters, and audio to signify a change in the story. Each performance has a different visual aesthetic, achieved through different props, costumes, and setting. Her performances involve various forms of audio, such as: voiceovers, ambient sounds, pop songs, and other sound effects. While performing, Moser interacts with objects using her body in different variations, permutations, and combinations. Moser will take an object that we associate with a certain action or use and subtly change the interaction between her body and the object, which subsequently and temporarily changes our relationship with the object.
“The artist’s performance refused fixity, moving frenetically between different vignettes and voices on stage, all the while straddling the divide between comedy and art.” – Loreta Lamargese in The Editorial Magazine
Almost every performance stands on the boarder between absurd comedy and profound thought. Moser plays into the fact that comedy is typically seen as frivolous and disengaged with conceptual themes. Despite this generalized view, she sees comedy and conceptual art looking to achieve similar goals; taking an expectation or conventional idea, and turning it on it’s head.
“Moser uses [conventions] as tools; she uses them to stabilize her slippery semiotic shifts even as she turns them back on themselves, slicing the bonds between signifier and signified with the ease of a practiced shoplifter removing a security tag. Moser does not defy or reject popular culture, but her performances do undermine the unified significations on which it relies, offering instead a thicket of signification so rich with distraction, dazzle and reflection that we forget the habits we came in with, forget, as it were, how to walk. In her activation of this dialectic of known and unknown, familiar and unfamiliar, Moser is less a young artist trying to define herself against the masters who precede her, than one in a long line of meaning-makers, outclassed but clever, sparring playfully with the behemoth of mass culture.” – Sarah Hollenberg
Moser’s work ethic is based upon her trying to understand her interests and attraction to certain items or ideologies and the process she takes in trying to figure them out. For example, a topic that comes up a lot in her work is the idea of self-help. Moser finds this notion interesting as it has been made into a commercialized process that you can make yourself OK if you follow steps x, y, and z. She amplifies this in her performances, as she rehearses, she changes and rearranges scenes as she grapples with intriguing concepts, such as self-help.