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Moyra Davey, „Bottle #55“, 1996–2000 / 2021

Moyra Davey

Bottle #55 (1996–2000 / 2021)

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?