Crash Gallery

She's one of Crash Gallery's new art experts, but would she compete on the show herself?

Crash Gallery is getting a new panel of art experts for Season 2. Meet performance artist Bridget Moser.

You know Crash Gallery isn't a typical reality show when Bridget Moser's the 'mean judge'

New for Season 2, Crash Gallery is getting a panel of judges — a trio of experts that includes Toronto performance artist Bridget Moser. (CBC)

It's a reality show, one where three people compete to create mind-blowing works of art.

And they only get 30 minutes to do it.

And they have to pull it off in front of a studio audience.

And they'll probably be strung upside down and spun till they (almost) puke — and subjected to every Nickelodeon game show-style obstacle you can imagine, short of being slimed.

Crash Gallery art experts (L-R) Bridget Moser, Paul de Guzman and Syrus Marcus Ware. (CBC)

All that to say watching Crash Gallery definitely doesn't require an MFA.

That's never been the point, though.

Besides, when the series returns to CBC February 5, there'll be three new people on the show — and they each have the cred to place a competitor's underwater finger painting in the appropriate art-historical context, should the opportunity arise.

New for Season 2, Crash Gallery is getting a panel of art experts: Syrus Marcus Ware, Paul de Guzman and Bridget Moser.

On each episode, these judges will share their takes on the artists' work before turning things over to the gallery audience. The crowd ultimately decides who wins the final challenge — but what this trio has to say just might swing the vote.

Leading up to the premiere, we're going help you get to know these Crash Gallery stars a little better, starting with…

Bridget Moser, performance artist

Home base

Toronto

What's your art about?

"My work combines prop comedy and experimental theatre, intuitive dance and absurd literature."

How did you become a performance artist?

"Well, it wasn't totally on purpose — although if you ask my parents they would disagree because I was a dancer my entire childhood and I was in community theatre and stuff like that."

Bridget Moser in a still from her piece "How Does it Feel." (Courtesy of Crash Gallery)

"Really, it's only been in the last four years that I've been making performance-based work, and that was partly because I did a residency at the Banff Centre that was centred on this idea of experimental comedy which was really enticing to me."

"While I was there we had to perform new material every week for two months, so by working in that way I finally figured out the work I should have been making for a long time."

Some common preconceptions about performance art...

"I feel like a lot of people know who Marina Abramovic is at this point, but I also feel like there are lots of examples in TV and movies of these awful stereotypes of what performance art looks like, and it usually involves a nude person doing something weird that no one really wants to watch — which is what it is sometimes, to be fair (laughs)."

Why did you want to be on Crash Gallery?

"There's not a lot of television programming that covers the arts, even though one could argue that this is not exactly what I might think of as contemporary art. [...] It's just not possible to be given these crazy materials and really difficult circumstances and then 30 minutes to make something on a really specific or complex topic."

I think I ended up being the mean judge.- Bridget Moser,

"But I do think it's important to reach out to a broader audience. That's something that's interesting to me in my own work, too, to bring people in who might not otherwise feel included in terms of contemporary art."

"In my performances, there's a certain amount of it that's coming from this world of stand-up comedy or popular entertainment or popular culture. And so I guess part of why I use those kind of strategies is because there's a lot more rigorous conceptual material included in there, but I feel like if people have something that they can laugh at or kind of enjoy or connect with or identify with, it maybe makes them more willing to come along with me through the messier, more difficult stuff."


What kind of judge are you?

"I think I ended up being the mean judge (laughs)."

"Crash Gallery is set up is so different from so many [reality] shows, though, so I think a lot of what I said was not actually mean, but just within the context of the show I ended up being the least nice person."

"I guess I kind of approached it like I would any kind of crit like we would have done in art school where you'd talk about someone's work and talk about what was successful or less successful. Maybe that's where I went overboard."

"I think we all have very different personalities. [...] I think I like to get down to business and talk about what's been a success."

What's the must-see challenge from Season 2?

Episode 4: "human zoetrope"

In this challenge, the artists are asked to create a painting about "motion" — while actually spinning in circles. Confused? Please refer to the GIF below...

Says Moser: "We couldn't totally tell what they were making until the very end and throughout it got extremely messy — like paint in their mouths, on their faces."

"I think it's really cool to just watch people creatively problem-solve. I think that's what I like about that genre of reality TV is seeing somebody faced with a challenge and then watching them deal with it."

Would you ever compete on Crash Gallery, though?

"Oh, I don't know. I've seen enough challenges to know there'd be many times where I would've thrown up (laughs)."

Season 2 of Crash Gallery premieres on CBC Television Sunday, Feb. 5 at 9:30 p.m. Until then, catch up on what you missed. Watch all of Season 1 online.

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