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PRINT April 2020

SPEAKING VOLUMES

Moyra Davey, i confess, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 56 minutes 46 seconds.

OVER THE PAST THIRTY YEARS, the artist Moyra Davey has made ten ever more luminous and ambitious films. Each of them is at once a work of continuity and rupture, from the quirky Hell Notes, 1990, which scours the bedrock of Manhattan and loops around the island’s coastline while piecing together a collage-like Super 8 meditation on the subjects of land, money, sewage, and waste, to the prickly i confess, 2019, which links a passionate rereading of James Baldwin’s ravishing novel Another Country (1962) to an extremely discomforting reconsideration of the writer Pierre Vallières, who led the militant Québécois liberation movement and wrote the highly controversial Marxist memoir Nègres blancs d’Amérique (1968), its title wincingly translated as White N of America (1971). Davey continues to build her films around difficult material, initially stemming from personal affairs involving

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