delpire & co is pleased to present new work by artists Moyra Davey and Justine Kurland. Titled Bonds of Love, the exhibition is a collaboration, featuring works that speak to multiple, intersecting forms of interdependence, inheritance, devotion, and authority.
Articulating one of the points of departure for the exhibition, Davey reflects on the behavior of pair-bonding in the animals: horses will protect and care for one another, for instance when they stand mane-to-tail to swish flies away from their faces, and humans can also pair-bond with horses through ongoing caretaking rituals and the nurturing of mutual trust.
Kurland’s color and black-and-white photographs of Davey with her horse Bella are vulnerable, funny, playful, and somber. The small contact prints are intimate in a way made possible only through the triangulated bonds between Kurland, Davey, and Bella that span artmaking, affinity, and affection. Davey and Bella are further tethered to each other. Their bodies become foils of and surrogates for one another in the pictures; Davey’s small frame is dwarfed or absorbed by Bella’s muscular one, the two of them described in the photographs’ titles in singular, shared action: spooning, mouthing, riding, turning.
Also on view are a suite of collages from Kurland’s ongoing SCUMB Manifesto project, in which she cuts up photo books by straight white men to make her work and create space for women in the canon. The double-sided Nudes collages show layer upon layer of intertwined body parts: pictures of women’s arms, torsos, breasts, crotches, and legs are interleaved and tangled as Kurland cuts through and into the book’s pages. Here bonds are severed and transposed—between a student of photography and its idolized fathers; the female body and the male photographer; the authoritative tome and endless, iterative play.
A final uniting piece is a new multi-part mailed artwork by Davey. Since 2009 Davey has returned to the economical form of the folded photograph (prints she folds, tapes, stamps and then sends to exhibiting venues by post), each image carrying the marks of its circulation from Davey’s studio to the gallery wall. The final work, evoking a Muybridge study, comprises a series of ten photographs of two horses, standing head-to-tail in a steadfast bond of mutual maintenance.