46. Moyra Davey

In the first moments of her video interview for the Whitney Museum of American Art, artist Davey looks back 2001's Mary, Marie and We Are Young and We Are Friends of Time]. "They're mail art essentially," she says, photographs of published letters and diaries of Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) and Mary Wollstonecraft (an 18th-century advocate of women's rights) folded and sent to various friends and family. Her photographs pick out particular words from the appropriated literature, which are then assembled in symbolic groupings. Although their final resting place is tacked onto a museum wall beneath floodlights, Davey urges the audience to imagine these physical photographs' passage through time and space via the postal service. Her process echoes Alighiero Boetti's mailing project, reinterpreting and admiring the marks of reality, incident, and coincidence.

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Above: Mary, Marie, 2011