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Bottle #55 (1996–2000 / 2021) by Moyra Davey

Bottle #55 (1996–2000 / 2021) by Moyra Davey

Texte zur Kunst

Pigment Print


Edition Size: 100 + 20 A.P.

Image Size: 19.1 x 25.4 cm

Sheet Size: 21.6 x 27.9 cm



Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

The New York–based artist Moyra Davey is known both for her writing and photography; her books – most recently “Index Cards” from 2020 – circulate widely among young artists and writers alike, and her photographs bear the unmistakable traces of being folded, taped, stamped, and then put through the mail. Her contemplative videos bring these two elements of her practice together, showing the artist in her home or behind the camera out in the world, narrating the sutured footage in her own voice reciting from her own texts. And just as Davey’s writing is rich with references to literature and theory, her visual language is grounded in art history, from Giorgio Morandi’s muted still lifes to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s methodical studies. For her edition for TEXTE ZUR KUNST, Davey resurrected a photograph from her series of empty whiskey bottles. The series began with a single, blurred picture of an empty bottle of Johnnie Walker – a photograph taken mistakenly at the end of a roll of film – and it became a five-year project. Always capturing the bottle where it was placed after the last drops were consumed, the series as a whole became a sort of calendar, Davey once remarked – “a marker of time denoted by a particular type of consumption.” This edition revives the calendar, in a way, thrusting this moment into the future and loading the image with nostalgia. Do you remember that drink?



The Artist

Moyra Davey

Moyra Davey (Canadian, born 1958) attended Montreal’s Concordia University and the University of California, San Diego. She now lives and works in New York. Photographing in The Museum of Modern Art’s library, Davey came across a book titled Coffee Coffee and was reminded of a phrase she had once written in her notebook: “The coffee shop, the library.” Her piece by that name—created for this exhibition—is one in a series of gridded works featuring analog photographs that Davey has folded like envelopes, mailed to friends, then shown complete with stamps, postmarks, and return addresses, vestiges of travel that do not exist with e-mail. Juxtaposing her own photographs—taken at MoMA, at the public library, and in cafés—with iconic coffee shop images by Bruce Davidson and Saul Leiter, Davey “links two public spaces that offer privacy, comfort and sustenance for the body and the mind,” she says.

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