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Moyra Davey at Camden Arts Centre

Moyra Davey

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION of work by Moyra Davey will be on display at Camden Arts Centre from April 11 to June 29, 2014.

Canadian artist Moyra Davey (b.1958) works across photography, film and writing to create intimate visual essays on time and matter in the everyday, and her filtered relationship to literature.

Davey’s camera often turns towards the unseen or the overlooked: dust, books, records and piles of newspapers, empty whiskey bottles and coffee cups – the ephemera and discards of daily life.

Intuitive and inquisitive, she narrates stories and anecdotes from the books that she has accumulated, interweaving them with her daily life and reflecting on her relationships with her family, literary influences, psychoanalysis, travels and her environment.

The exhibition presents a major recent work exhibited here for the first time in its entirety: Subway Writers. This series of 75 photographs of commuters writing on the New York subway draws on the history of mail art. The photographs in the piece, described by Davey as ‘mailers’ will be folded and posted directly to Camden Arts Centre; creased, stamped and scuffed, they will retain a physical record of their journey.

Davey’s extensive body of work, inspired by her fascination with Mary Wollstonecraft and the Shelleys, is brought together for the first time, and includes seven series of ‘mailers’ and her acclaimed film Les Goddesses. The film follows Davey in her apartment reciting an essay she wrote about the lives of Wollstonecraft and her daughters, entwining episodes from their untamed youth with recollections of her own sisters and a series of photographs she took of them in the early 1980s.

Investigation into text is a central theme in the three other influential video works being shown: Fifty Minutes, My Necropolis and My Saints.

Moyra Davey was born in Canada in 1958 and now lives and works in New York City. She studied at Concordia University in Montreal, the University of California in San Diego and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. She has exhibited widely internationally.

Her solo exhibitions include Hangmen of England at Tate Liverpool, 2013, Speaker Receiver at Kunsthalle, Basel, 2010 and Long Life Cool White, 2008 at the Harvard Art Museum. She has also participated in numerous group shows including the Whitney Biennial, New York and New Photography at MoMA, New York. Her work is in major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, MoMA, New York and Tate Modern.

Moyra Davey runs at Camden Arts Centre at the same time as an exhibition of work by Phillip Lai.

Camden Arts Centre: The Year Ahead.

Admission: Free.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm; Wednesdays late, 10am–9pm; closed Mondays.

Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London, NW3 6DG

Tel: +44 (0)20 7472 5500