Moyra Davey (Canadian, b. 1958), a New York–based photographer, filmmaker, writer, and curator featured in the MoMA exhibition New Photography 2011, presents the New York premiere of her latest moving-image work, Les Goddesses (2011). She writes that "Les Goddesses began as an inquiry into the validity of storytelling, specifically: telling one’s own story, and the ambivalence surrounding this drive. The 'story,' or some part of it, is finally enabled by the discovery of a series of coincidences that connect the lives and writings of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughters, and my five sisters, via a series of portraits I took of them in the early 1980s. Unexpectedly, the vicissitudes of photography, as I’ve practiced it over the last 30 years, become a central theme of Les Goddesses." Davey will also present a short excerpt from Jennifer Montgomery’s work in progress, One Species Removed, which resonates with Les Goddesses in fascinating and moving ways.
Of One Species Removed, Jennifer Montgomery writes, "The subject of this video is both animal empathy (anthropomorphism) and struggles with human mortality. The title reflects a pun, with two supporting sources: 1) that we often transfer our most profound emotions onto other animals, i.e., 'one species removed.' 2) The crackpot but very moving theories of Rudolf Steiner. He believed that each human being is a species unto itself, so that when a human being dies, a species (used interchangeably with the word "soul") dies with it, thereby rendering that individual species extinct. By contrast, animals have a group species and group souls. When one animal dies, the group soul/species replaces that part of itself." Montgomery joins Davey for a discussion after the screening.
In conjunction with the exhibition New Photography 2011
In the Film exhibition Modern Mondays
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