Bielefelder Kunstverein

Moyra Davey

Hell Notes

17 Feb - 08 Apr 2018

Moyra Davey, Hell Notes, exhibition view, Bielefelder Kunstverein, 2018. Photo: Philipp Ottendörfer
The artistic work of photographer, filmmaker and author Moyra Davey combines images and language, photography and writing, seeing and reading. Across these fields, Davey engages equally with the work of other cultural figures and intellectuals as she does with her personal surroundings. This particular union of art and life appears specifically in her dealings within the medium of photography. Since the late 1980s, she has produced photographic series which centre around everyday motifs such as newspaper kiosks, people on the Underground or shots taken from her own apartment. Separately, Davey has also maintained a treatment of work in which her photographs are folded to letter size and sent individually by post to family members, friends, or exhibition staff. These prints are then arranged on walls, complete with the traces of tape, labels and stamps on them, and acquire the semblance of a photo-tableau. At the centre of her exhibition at the Bielefelder Kunstverein there will feature a film and photographs, both of which date back to the 1990s and deal with the materiality and function of money. »Hell Notes« (1990/2017), originally shot on Super-8 film, collates Davey’s own research relating to the development of the monetary system with passages from psychoanalytic case studies and a set of musings on various New York City landmarks. It is framed by »Copperheads« (1990-today). This photo series consists of greatly enlarged macro shots of American pennies, whose state and degree of usage can be read from the profile they display of the country’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). The exhibition is augmented by a more recent trilogy of films (2011-2017) as well as a corresponding small-format photo series, allowing for a more comprehensive insight into Moyra Davey’s interdisciplinary practice.

Moyra Davey, born 1958 in Toronto (CAN), lives in New York (USA). Numerous solo exhibitions have been dedicated to the artist, among others at the Portikus in Frankfurt (2017), the Bergen Kunsthall (NR, 2016) and the Camden Arts Centre in London (GB, 2014). Only recently, her works were shown at the documenta 14 in Kassel (2017), the Biennale de Montréal (CAN, 2016), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid (ES, 2017), and the New Yorker Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA, 2016).

The exhibition is Moyra Davey’s first in a German institution and takes place in cooperation with the Portikus Frankfurt, where her work may be viewed until the end of January 2018.

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