Gabrielle Moser

Assistant Professor, Art History, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, OCAD University

Gabrielle Moser is a writer, educator and independent curator whose research focuses on the historical construction of citizenship as a photographable subject. Her dissertation investigates the construction of imperial citizenship in photographs produced by the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee: a project developed by the British government between 1902 and 1945 that used geography lectures illustrated with lanternslides to teach colonial schoolchildren about the land and peoples of the Empire. Her current research project, “Picturing race and citizenship: photography and belonging in Canada, 1900-1948,”  based at the University of British Columbia and supported by a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship, investigates how racialized subjects used their encounter with the camera to make claims for citizenship in Canada, before its legal enactment in 1948. Reading these images against other pre-war archives, the project is concerned with how photographs make citizenship appear, to distant spectators, in the contect of British colonialism. Moser is an independent curator who has organized exhibitions and screenings for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Vtape, Xpace, Gallery TPW and Access Gallery, and her writing has appeared on and in Art in AmericaCanadian ArtFillip, Journal of Visual Culture, n.paradoxa, Photography & Culture and in the forthcoming edited volume Photography and the Optical Unconscious (Duke University Press, 2017). Moser holds a PhD in art history and visual culture from York University and teaches at OCAD University.

Selected Exhibitions and Publications

“Developing Historical Negatives: the Colonial Photographic Archive as Optical Unconscious,” Photography and the Optical Unconscious, eds. Sharon Sliwinski and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017).

“Exhaustive Images: Surveillance, Sovereignty and Subjectivity in Jon Rafman’s The Nine Eyes of Google Street View,” Jon Rafman: Nine Eyes (Los Angeles: New Documents, 2016).

“Photographic Doubt: Sanaz Mazinani,” Reflections & Refractions (Toronto and London: Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography/Black Dog Press, 2016). 

“Chromophobia: Race, Colour and Visual Pleasure in Richard Mosse’s The Enclave,” Prefix (Winter 2015). 

“Beauty is Both Inevitable and Irrelevant: A Conversation with Jessica Eaton,” are you experienced? (Hamilton and London: Art Gallery of Hamilton/Black Dog Press, 2015). Exhibition catalogue.

Exhibition essay, “Hajra Waheed: Asylum in the Sea,” Darling Foundry, Montreal, June 18-August 27, 2015.

“Literary Supplement: A Brief and Incomplete Atlas of Drawn & Quarterly’s Petits Livres,” Drawn & Quarterly’s 25th Anniversary Publication (Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2015).

Exhibition essay, “Krista Belle Stewart,” Mercer Union, Toronto, April 2015.

“In Another Place, at the Same Time,” In Another Place, and Here (Victoria: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2015). Exhibition catalogue.

Synaesthetics: Aleesa Cohene Fuses the Senses,” Canadian Art 31, no. 4 (Winter 2015). : 116-19.

Event review, “The Flood of Rights,” Journal of Visual Culture 13, no. 2 (August 2014): 236-240.

Curator in residence, Coming to Encounter, Gallery TPW R&D, Sept. 2012-June 2013.

Lenscraft: Jessica Eaton Asks Us to Think About What We See,” Canadian Art 29, no. 4 (Winter 2013): 94-7.

Always Working, Access Gallery, Vancouver, BC, June 23-July 28, 2012.

Book Review, “Curating and the Educational Turn, Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson (ed.s) (2010) and Raising Frankenstein: Curatorial Education and Its Discontents, Kitty Scott (ed.) (2011),“ Journal of Curatorial Studies 1 (Winter 2011).

Exhaustive Images
: Surveillance, Sovereignty, and
 Subjectivity in Google Maps Street View,” Fillip 15 (Winter 2011): 20-31.

Phantasmagoric places: local and global tensions in the circulation of Stan Douglas’ Every Building on 100 West Hastings,” Photography & Culture 4.1 (March 2011): 55-72.

“Working-through public and private labour in Sophie Calle’s Prenez soin de vous“, n.paradoxa 27 (January 2011): 5-13.


Gabrielle Moser
Assistant Professor, Art History
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies
OCAD University
100 McCaul St.
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1