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Lighting up

Moyra Davey at the Fogg, ‘Two or Three Things I Know about Her’ at the Carpenter Center, and Arno Rafael Minkkinen at BU
February 19, 2008 5:27:08 PM
INSIDEM&G_Davey-Copperhead0
Moyra Davey, Copperhead No. 1

Poor Abraham Lincoln. In addition to having been assassinated, he suffers the ongoing indignity of adorning the humble US penny, the coin most likely to be found abandoned under the cushions of the couch or left in a sorry tray on a convenience-store counter. For a time during the late 1980s and the early 1990s, photographer Moyra Davey focused a macro lens on Lincoln’s nicked, scarred and tarnished profile as she found it on a multitude of pennies, creating close-up portraits that bring into focus objects so familiar we don’t even look at them. One hundred of Davey’s Copperheads, arrayed in a 10x10 grid, are installed in the entry way leading to “LONG LIFE COOL WHITE: PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOYRA DAVEY,” which opens at the Fogg Art Museum on February 28. This series marks her early interest in photographing the mundane objects that mount up and gather around us. Her more recent work makes use of piles of books, stacks of records, cluttered desks, massed stuff on top of refrigerators, and other things that collect dust, all of which she presents unstaged and non-digitally manipulated, in their natural habitats. Organized by Harvard’s contemporary-art curator, Helen Molesworth, the exhibition of 40 photographs provides an overview of her 20-year career.

Davey’s video Fifty Minutes, meanwhile, will be showing next door at Harvard’s Carpenter Center, in the Godardian-titled “TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER,” which Molesworth also curated. This one features video, sound, and slide work by New York–based artists: Davey, K8 Hardy, Sharon Hayes, Ulrike Müller, Wynne Greenwood. The pieces were created against the backdrop of post-9/11 New York; the artists bring a feminist edge to questions of identity, sexuality, freedom, and urban space. Writer, artist, and curator Catherine Lord gives the free public opening Carpenter Center Lecture for the exhibit at 6 pm on February 28, focusing on the queer feminist collective L.T.T.R., whose members include Müller and Hardy.

Stepping out of the apartment, and away from the city, Finnish-born, Massachusetts-based photographer ARNO RAFAEL MINKKINEN takes large-scale photographs with himself as a subject inserted into the landscape, often in impossible poses that create scenes at once perplexing and pleasing. Minkkinen speaks about his work in “UNPLUGGED, AS ALWAYS” on February 28 at 7 pm in Boston University’s Photonics Center, kicking off the Photographic Resource Center’s Spring 2008 Lecture Series.

“Long Life Cool White: Photographs by Moyra Davey” at Fogg Art Museum, 32 Quincy St, Cambridge | February 28–June 30 | 617.495.9400 | “Two or Three Things I Know about Her” at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge | February 28–April 6 | 617.495.3251 | Arno Rafael Minkkinen lecture “Unplugged, As Always” at Boston University’s Photonics Center, Auditorium 206, 8 St. Mary’s St, Boston | February 28 at 7 pm | $15 general admission; $5 full-time students | 617.975.0600

On the Web
“Long Life Cool White: Photographs by Moyra Davey”: www.artmuseums.harvard.edu
“Two or Three Things I Know about Her”: www.ves.fas.harvard.edu
Arno Rafael Minkkinen lecture “Unplugged, As Always”: www.prcboston.org

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