The map on the wall could not locate me

Lindsay Seers (1966 - )

photograph with mouth photograph counterpart

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    The map on the wall could not locate me consists of two photographs mounted in a deep box frame. Part of Lindsay Seers’s Lost Room series (2003/2019–20), they were produced during a 2003 residence in Paraguay and presented in a first iteration at Museo Del Barro in Ascunción. They document the room in which Seers was staying, recording details that she believed would certainly be erased from her memory by time – everyday things such as how a table leg met the floor, or the profile of a skirting board.

    In an experimental process specific to Seers, the artist started by preparing photographic paper in a darkened wardrobe, before inserting the paper in her mouth whilst wearing a black sack – meaning the images were captured in her body.

    She describes this in her 2018 ‘Tate Shots’ interview:

    I decided to turn myself into a camera… turning my mouth into my camera… If I just form my lips in the shape of a kiss, there is an image – a fuzzy image of you – now in the back of my throat… just like the aperture of an eye, you’d be upside down and I’d be about to swallow you.

    Alongside the circular red images from Seers’ mouth – literally blood coloured by the light passing through her cheeks – are black and white images from a 6x6 camera triggered by a cable release in the artist's hand – the mechanical camera surveying the scene of an introspective ritual.

  • About the artist
    Lindsay Seers works in London and lives on the Isle of Sheppey. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (BA Sculpture and Media 1991–94) and at Goldsmiths College (MA Fine Art 1999–2001). She has shown her large-scale works internationally including at SMK (National Gallery of Denmark, 2010); TPW, Canada (2011); Bonniers Konsthall, Sweden (2012); Kiasma, Finland (2012); Hayward Gallery, UK (2014); Venice Biennale 2015; and MONA, Tasmania (2017). Recent solo exhibitions were presented at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (both 2020). Grants and awards include the Sharjah Art Foundation Production Award, UAE (2012); Le Jeu de Paume production award for the Toulouse Festival, France (2013); Wellcome Trust Award (2018); and Arts Council and British Council Awards in support of her works.
  • Explore
  • Details
    The map on the wall could not locate me
    photograph with mouth photograph counterpart
    height: 25.3 cm; width: 35.3 cm; depth: 6.5 cm
    Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
    Matt's Gallery; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 17 March 2021
    GAC number