Moyra Davey

Sep 23–Oct 10, 2022


Les Goddesses. 2011. USA. Directed by Moyra Davey. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Over the past 15 years, Moyra Davey has made films weaving together personal and literary histories, but her body of work is often more disarming than diaristic. Guided by a wondrous formal attention to overlooked details and generative happenstance, Davey’s distinctive style of montage and narration is inscribed in a larger interplay between photography, filmmaking, and writing that has guided her practice going back to the 1990s. Whether addressing family life, psychoanalysis, art history, or political subjects, her rigorous but free-spirited approach elides genre and models new paths to figuration, representation, and narrative. Davey’s filmic world revels in the spaces between distinct frames of reference: between private and public life; past and present; still and moving images; vérité and mise-en-scène; intimacy and transgression; introspection and voracious dialogue with fellow artists and thinkers.

This mid-career survey offers a special opportunity to experience 11 of Davey’s feature, mid-length, and short films together for the first time. In a collective context, the vitality of their reflections on contemporary life—as an artist, woman, and mother—resonate deeply. Featuring the New York premieres of two of Davey’s latest films, the series also includes work by cinematic auteurs chosen by Davey in a nod to the citational strategies present throughout her practice. Moyra Davey unfolds as a series of conversations: between her films, in the repertory pairings envisioned by the artist, and in onstage conversations with special guests.

Selected program notes were written by Moyra Davey and editor and frequent collaborator Nicolas Linnert.

Organized by Sophie Cavoulacos, Associate Curator, Department of Film.

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, and Karen and Gary Winnick.


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