Colour photo of a room or space with  black and white geometric patterns and stripes covering walls and objects.The artist sits naked in the middle background of the image, some of the objects are in front of them, and a striped and black and white geometric smiling face matching the room covers their head.
© Séamus Gallagher, Sit up straight and smile for the camera, 2017
Archival inkjet print, 60.96 × 91.44 cm (24 × 36 inches)

Séamus Gallagher is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Moncton and currently working in Halifax. Their practice, blending photography with installation and performance, centres around constructing complex, colourful spaces within which they can interact. Their work explores concepts of embodiment and actualization, constantly negotiating between digital and physical spaces.

In Sit up straight and smile for the camera, Gallagher’s nude body sits in stark contrast to a physical installation of computer-generated graphics. They sit with a rigid back, their hands on their knees, reminiscent of a school portrait pose. A smile is painted on their face. This juxtaposition between real and virtual spaces explores the in-between otherworldly spaces, carving out an entirely new world. Perhaps in this new space, a marginalized person can find a way to live authentically beyond the constant, and often cruel, criticism in our dominant culture.