June 5, 2013 - Tate Liverpool - Moyra Davey
June 5, 2013

Moyra Davey

Moyra Davey, Kevin Ayers (Psychic), 2013. Chromogenic print with adhesive tape, stamps and ink. © Moyra Davey / Murray Guy, New York.

Moyra Davey
Hangmen of England
8 June–6 October 2013 

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool L3 4BB
Hours: Daily 10–17.50h

T +44 (0) 151 702 7400

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Moyra Davey: Hangmen of England at Tate Liverpool will be the first museum show in the UK by the Canadian-born New York-based artist Moyra Davey. The exhibition brings together new works created following the artist’s visit to Liverpool and Manchester, alongside never before seen works. It forms part of the parallel programme for LOOK/13, one of the UK’s leading international photography festivals.

Since emerging during the 1990s Davey has developed a critically acclaimed body of work consisting of analogue photography, video and writing. Through her seemingly casually taken photographs of the spines of vinyl LPs, or empty bottles irradiated by light, to piles of dusty books heaped upon a heaving shelf—the artist offers an unrushed consideration of the world, drawing quiet attention to these familiar objects and environments. In her work the passage of time, decay and deterioration are domesticated and befriended as photographic themes, extending the historical trajectory of photography derived on accident, while using ideas drawn from literature as well as theory. Her photographs furthermore arrive individually through the post to their place of display, folded and with the postal stamps and hand-written address affixed directly to the image. The coloured tape used to seal the photographs forms an abstract pattern lending her work a visual and conceptual unity, finding correspondence with the works’ final presentation in a grid format in the gallery.

For this exhibition, Davey presents new works including Kevin Ayers (2013), which develops her preoccupation with record fairs and the collector’s focused pursuit of coveted sounds. The work lingers on the array of hand gestures: fingers flipping through boxes of dusty LPs, the vinyl disk examined by being suspended between palm and fingertips, catching the light to reveal fatal flaws. The second work, Valerie Plame (2013), uses photographs taken at Liverpool’s recently re-opened historic Central Library. This exhibition also includes a new iteration of Davey’s Copperheads series. Consisting of one hundred photographs of Abraham Lincoln’s profile on one hundred United States pennies, Copperheads 101–200 (2013) offers a meditation on the psychology of money and the entropy of value and exchange, with each coin unique in its susceptibility to scratching and erasure, a serialised study of the humblest coinage. The ideas inherent in the exhibition will be expanded through artist’s writings and an archival display, developing Davey’s interest in combining aleatory processes with autobiography and literary themes.

Moyra Davey graduated from Concordia University, Montreal in 1982 before receiving an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work can be found in major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (both New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the Tate collection. She has recently staged solo exhibitions at The Fogg Art Museum Harvard University, Murray Guy, New York and greengrassi in London, plus Speaker Receiver at Kunsthalle Basel in 2010.

Moyra Davey: Hangmen of England is curated by Darren Pih, Exhibitions and Displays Curator, Tate Liverpool.

In June 2014 Camden Arts Centre in London will present Davey’s first large-scale survey show in the United Kingdom.

Supported by Tate Liverpool Members

Artist’s talk
Coinciding with the exhibition, Davey give a talk at Tate Liverpool at 2pm on Saturday 8 June, providing insights into her artistic life and motivations (free event, advance booking essential).

For further information please contact Tate Liverpool Press Office: +44 (0) 151 702 7444/5 or liverpool.press [​at​] tate.org.uk.


Moyra Davey at Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool
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