With “Burn the Diaries”, mumok is presenting the first solo exhibition by Moyra Davey (born 1958 in Toronto) in Austria. Davey, who lives in New York, has combined a number of new works for this show, comprising a 30-minute film, an artist’s book, and an installation of her photographs. Together these works address the ways in which we deal with memory and history. A point of reference here is the work of the French author Jean Genet (1910–1986).
Working with Memory and History as an Artistic Practice Photography, film, video, and literature are all equally important for Moyra Davey. Her concentrated and often very detailed observations usually refer to personal experiences in her own private context. Davey’s works sensitively capture past and present moments and explore the relationships between time, history, and personal experience. They shed new light on the connections between image and language, and between production, communication, and reception.
A key part of Davey’s artistic work are her “mailers,” photographs folded as envelopes that she sends to family members, friends, and acquaintances. When they arrive in an exhibition, each of these bears traces of its journey and also identifies its recipients.
Moyra Davey uses film, photography, and literature as a repertoire of forms that interweave with and complement each other. Her exhibition at mumok includes a new film entitled My Saints, which looks closely at the processes of writing and remembering. Subtly interwoven static images, fragments of plot, text montages, and depictions of friends and family members correspond with details from the life and work of the novelist Jean Genet, who was sentenced to jail several times for thefts and other felonies. At the center of My Saints is Genet’s Diary of a Thief, which Moyra Davey uses to look at experiences of loss and humilization, and of sadism.
A second element of the exhibition is a group of new mailers that show images from Davey’s personal environment and of her travels, including her own apartment and books and weathered gravestones and monuments in Paris. Davey’s mailers make diverse references to her text entitled Burn the Diaries. This text is also the starting point for her film, and it is included in an artist’s book that is the third component of the exhibition. In fragments of memory and quotations, Moyra Davey reflects on her own past and relates it to Jean Genet, whose path she also traces in literary terms. A generously illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, also including a text by Canadian writer Alison Strayer—a close friend of
Davey’s since her youth, with whom she regularly exchanges ideas. (Text source: mumok)
Please do note the differing opening hours!!!
Monday: 2.00 p.m.-7.00 p.m.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 a.m.-7.00 p.m.
Thursday: 10.00 a.m.-9.00 p.m.