Episode from the podcastMagic Hour

Moyra Davey

Released Monday, 16th November 2020
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While preparing to interview Moyra Davey, I started to really try and figure out what it is that I love so much about her work.

Is it that she is able to deal with the most mundane, everyday subject matter in such a personal, unpretentious, electrifying, simple and complex way?

Is it her subject matter that’s so appealing? Artists that she’s interested in, diaries, ephemera, hang-ups, let downs, preocupations, inspirations, quotes, books? Is it that she speaks of those things in the first place?

Is it her form? The simple elegance of it which is a through line in all her work from the writing to the films to the mailers.

“I’m trying to write in the forms of the work I want to read” she writes in her title essay of her recent book Index Cards published by New Directions. That seems like such a simple and easy thing to do, but it’s really the most challenging place to get to.

Moyra was born in Toronto in 1958, grew up in Montreal and lives in New York now, where she’s been for some 30 years.

She is the recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship and just last month, she opened a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

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47m 15s
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