To Do without People: Moyra Davey's Impossible Renunciation

February 6, 2021
11 am (CST)
New Perspectives talk, online

Closed captioned

The work of Moyra Davey is invested with individual subjectivity and autobiography. The distinct absence of any figures, however, in her photographs from 2003—along with Davey’s choice to focus attention instead on space, in its “empty,” uninhabited variations—harkens back to the decade in the artist’s life (roughly 1984–94) when, burdened by the notion of “image theft,” Davey retreated from the genre of portraiture. This talk by Jenny Wu, MA student in the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences, will situate four of Davey’s photographs from the collection of the Kemper Art Museum within the artist’s most recently published meditations on craft and discuss her unpeopled interiors in relation to issues of ownership, medium, and the representation of time and space.

The program will include live closed captions.

View video of program >>

A recording of the program will become available on the Museum’s YouTube channel in the weeks following.

New Perspectives

New Perspectives talks are opportunities to learn more about the Museum’s collection from emerging scholars. The talks are given by graduate students in the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences and focus on one or more works from the collection, often aligning with the students’ own expertise and scholarly interests.

About the speaker

Jenny Wu is an MA student in the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Washington University in St. Louis and focuses on contemporary art and new media from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her work can be found in BOMB Magazine, Denver Quarterly, The Literary Review, and Asymptote Journal.

Image credit

Moyra Davey (Canadian, b. 1958), detail of Light, 2003. C-print, 24 x 20". University purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Grodsky, by exchange, 2010.