2017_Scenna2_gCarolyne Scenna, Papier mâché, 2017, photomontage, still from the J’aurais fait mieux slide

Carolyne Scenna. I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed

Graduating master's student in visual and media arts (MFA), UQAM

October 24 - December 9, 2017
Opening: Monday, October 23, 5:30 p.m.

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Galerie de l’UQAM presents I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed by Carolyne Scenna, graduating master's student in visual and media arts at UQAM. The exhibition presents an installation in which the artist obsessively recomposes and revisits her photographic archives. A space bounded by white velvet curtains, lo-fi video projections and a model of a volcano form a route where spectators are invited to discover an assemblage of hybrid images through various projection devices.

The exhibition

The phrase “I’m the worst at what I do best and for this gift I feel blessed” is taken from Nirvana’s song Smells Like Teen Spirit, an iconic hit of the early 1990s. At first glance, the song’s lyrics form a contradictory accumulation of strange and familiar images that do not offer any obvious meaning. As an almost instantaneously mythical symbol of a generation, the song is now the reflection of a confused reality where adolescence and fame converse and converge until they become indistinct. For Carolyne Scenna, this “magma” emerging from the recuperation of cultural productions by mass culture forms an image. The artist appropriates the adolescent metaphor for its subversive potential, and rejects in passing any desire to do things right.

The exhibition features a visual mixtape composed of interlinked fades, overlapping photomontages and their mise en abyme in the gallery’s space. Animations realized from numerous computer screencasts are projected on different surfaces in the gallery in order to explore the constructed nature of situations and environments that the artist documents and accumulates. This process leads to a certain detachment from reality, a dematerialization that allows the artist to put the precarious nature of image making and its pre-eminence in everyday life to the test.

The artist

Carolyne Scenna is a multidisciplinary artist from Montreal. Working with photography, lo-fi video and installation, she develops a practice of image re-composition that explores its plastic and polysemic potentials. The processes of image materialization she implements in her research are pretexts for broader critical reflections on individual commitment to image making in the era of data digitization and its increased circulation. Fearless of ambiguity, she has presented since 2011 works that blend her name with that of her collective (which she wants to keep quiet about) in a few artist-run centres and galleries in Montreal (Parisian Laundry, Les Territoires, Arprim, Clark, Art mûr) and during various events (OFFTA, Festival du Jamais lu, Nuit Blanche à Montréal, Chromatic). I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed is her very first solo exhibition.

Public activities

Guided tour of the exhibition for groups
Available anytime.
Reservations required with Philippe Dumaine, 514 987-3000, ext. 3280, or dumaine_allard.philippe@uqam.ca

Artist talk: Carolyne Scenna
November 21, 2017, 12:45 p.m.
Part of the series L’art observe
Galerie de l’UQAM
In French
Free admission

Support provided by

CCFA_BW_black_96_f          Calq_noir

Canada Council for the Arts Canada Council for the Arts


Université du Québec à Montréal
1400, Rue Berri, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin, Local J-R 120
Montréal, Québec
Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
Free admission