Photographer, filmmaker and writer Moyra Davey (born 1958) unveiled a brand new commission for Tate Liverpool
this summer. The exhibition brings together works specially created following the artists recent visit to Liverpool which are being presented alongside a series of never before seen works. Moyra Davey forms part of the parallel programme for LOOK/13, one of the UKs leading international photography festivals.
For this exhibition, Davey presents works created using photographs she has taken in Liverpool and Manchester. They refer to narratives both personal and drawn from literature and theory, creating the sense of a fractured voyage or monologue. As is usual in her practice, these works were individually folded and mailed back to the city: the creases, tape and mailing stamps that mark each photograph provide a unique physical trace of its journey.
Davey also presents a new version of her celebrated Copperhead series. Created in the context of the global economic crisis this series focuses on the most devalued denomination of US currency, the one-cent coin, and reflects on the psychology of money and the varieties of decay brought about by the passage of time. The Copperhead series consists of one hundred close-up photographs of the profile of Abraham Lincoln engraved onto United States pennies. In an age of spectacle and image gratification, Daveys unrushed attention proposes a slowing down and a re-evaluation on the all too fleeting beauty of the everyday. Davey also presents objects and artworks that correspond with her archival approach, expanding on her thinking.
Since emerging in the 1990s, Davey has developed an acclaimed body of work, deploying seemingly modest artistic strategies to engage with complex themes. In stark contrast to the spectacle of large-scale digitally enhanced photography, Daveys practice is closely aligned with a history of photography based on intimacy and accident. Through her seemingly casually-taken photographs of the spines of vinyl records, empty bottles illuminated by light, or piles of books heaped upon a shelf, the artist offers an unrushed consideration of the world drawing our attention to these familiar objects and revealing their quiet beauty and sense of melancholy. Dust also provides a recurring focus in Daveys work, providing a metaphor for the passage of time and creative possibility: for example the act of taking a book from a shelf and blowing dust from its cover suggests the possible rediscovery and regeneration of its contents.
Moyra Davey graduated from Concordia University, Montreal in 1982 before receiving an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work can be found in major collections including The Guggenheim, New York. She has recently staged solo exhibitions at The Fogg Art Museum Harvard University, Murray Guy, New York and greengrassi in London. In June 2014 Camden Arts Centre in London will present Daveys first large-scale survey show in the United Kingdom.
In addition to Moyra Davey, Tate Liverpool also presents a major new Tate collection acquisition by Barbara Kruger (born 1945) as part of LOOK/13 international photography festival. Krugers 1991/2012 work Who Owns What forms an important part of Tate Liverpools new collection displays DLA Piper Series: Constellations. The work combines photography and text to interrogate doubt, control, power, affection, contempt, owning, not owning, buying and selling. DLA Piper Series: Constellations explores the impact of major works from the Tate collection on art history by placing them at the heart of nine constellations of artworks, creating narratives between the works. The constellation centering around Krugers Who Owns What includes film, photographic and sculptural works by Jack Goldstein, Louise Lawler, Robert Longo, Henrik Olesen, Mark Leckey and John Smith.
Moyra Davey is curated by Darren Pih, Exhibitions and Displays Curator, Tate Liverpool.