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Bridget Moser: My Crops Are Dying But My Body Persists

My Crops Are Dying But My Body Persists is a video work that incorporates strange and sometimes unsettling images of food, the artist’s body and decorative objects. Comprised of short scenes and excerpts, the artist builds a humourous and bizarre mise-en-scène that explores themes of discomfort, loneliness and fears about the future.

Introduction by Troy Gronsdahl, Associate Curator (Live Programs)

When Bridget and I initiated this project in the fall of 2019, we couldn’t have anticipated the strange circumstances surrounding its opening. She arrived in Saskatoon on March 12 to put the finishing touches on her exhibition and prepare for a performance to launch her new project at Remai Modern. She landed in a small prairie city coming to terms with the implications of a global health crisis. 

Bridget’s visit happened to coincide with the Juno Awards—the national music industry awards and week-long celebration of Canadian music. Her flight from Toronto was filled with musicians and delegates travelling to Saskatoon for the event. The cancellation of major cultural events stateside amidst public health concerns over the COVID-19 virus prompted similar moves north of the border. On the same day Bridget arrived, local media outlets announced the cancellation of the Junos. Most of her fellow passengers only learned that fact after their plane touched down in Saskatoon.

Against the advice of my aging parents, I went to the airport to meet Bridget. Staff and Juno volunteers tried to put on a brave face. A musical duo set up in the airport lobby was poised to welcome Canada’s music industry elite with a repertoire of pop classics including the song Fever. I thought, “Bridget might appreciate the humour in this.”

Bridget’s work amplifies the low-frequency anxieties that are part of the background hum of our daily lives. Her most recent video, My Crops are Dying but My Body Persists, continues in this direction, incorporating strange and sometimes unsettling images, references to the body and stream of consciousness narrative. As we sat in the gallery previewing her video my ears perked up when the disembodied voice of the narrator states:

“We’re living on this meaningless island and I think it’s getting sick. Maybe it’s already very unwell. How do you know if your body is toxic?”

In the context of a pandemic, Bridget’s new work seems prescient, almost uncanny. She has always had the knack for revealing the fretting that underwrites much of our consumer culture. She tempers these anxieties with self-deprecating humour and charm.

Like many of us, I am deeply disappointed that we are not able to open Bridget Moser’s exhibition to the public. She has generously agreed to share her new video online. As we move to minimize our outings and social contact, I encourage you to view her video on Remai Modern’s website. Laugh a little if you are able. We look forward to hosting her later this year when we can gather together again.