The Wet and The Dry

AMAonline publishes a facsimile edition of an essay that artist Moyra Davey wrote in 2011, entitled The Wet and the Dry. Moyra Davey’s exhibition at Artium Museoa, “LANAK/OBRAS/WORKS“, was on view from October 2020 to March 2021. Part of the backstory of the exhibition was this essay written and published a decade before, when Montehermoso Kulturunea in Vitoria-Gasteiz teamed up with the Paris-based collective castillo/corrales, l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux and De Vleeshal-Middelburg to launch The Social Life of the Book, a collection of commissioned texts dealing with books, and how they engage with the circulation of ideas and the agency of social situations. Moyra Davey’s The Wet and the Dry was the second installment in the series. Originally written in English but translated and published at the time also in Spanish and in Basque, The Wet and the Dry is an essay where autobiography and considerations on the medium of photography mixes with the lives of Goethe, Mary Wollstonecraft and the Shelleys. This text was also the basis for Davey’s acclaimed video work The Goddesses, which was presented in the 2020 exhibition at Artium Museoa. As an appendix to this story, where a text led to an exhibition over a ten-year span, it is certain that the very project of AMAonline, and of the section A Matter of Words in particular, owe a great deal to Moyra Davey’s engagement with words, with reading, writing and publishing as an artist, and her conviction that the written world not only produces new insights and ideas, but also new relationships. We thank Moyra Davey, castillo/corrales and Will Holder, the designer and co-editor of the series, for agreeing with the circulation in digital form through AMAonline of the original printed pamphlets.

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