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Emily Davis

MA work


4717 is a ten day exhibition that invites four artists to create new commissions in response to a work from the LUX collection. 4717 considers how the exhibition can be as much a site of active production as of display and seeks to question how a collection can be reanimated in a digital age. The changing exhibition space and the activities it will host will be broadcast via a video live-stream. The link to this live-stream has been acquired by LUX as their 4717th work, making it the first live moving image work in their collection. After 4717 concludes, the link will lie dormant alongside a set of instructions until it is reactivated by other parties interested in producing further iterations of the project.

The commissioned works will be produced and viewed alongside Ursula Mayer’s Gonda (2012), a rich and multilayered moving image piece from the LUX collection that delves into concepts of the individual, collectivity, narrative, and subjectivity. A film of multiple voices, it is this collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that 4717 celebrates. Gonda becomes a catalyst for artistic commissions that explore notions of dispersion, collection, and transformation across multiple forms of practice.

Commissioned Artists:
Libita Clayton
Anne de Boer
Inés Cámara Leret with Jesse Cahn-Thompson
Jade Montserrat

Graphic Designers:
Dominik Langloh
Dimitri Wiss


Thursday 26 April, 7:30pm
I’m not my. My... my injuries are healed now, but I still don’t remember things. – Fledgling, Octavia E Butler (2005)
A performance by Libita Clayton.

Wednesday 2 May, 10am – 5pm
record recode
A performance by Jade Monserrat.

Tuesday 1 May, 7–8:30pm
Reanimating Collections: Liveness and Dispersion
A panel discussion with Benjamin Cook (Director of LUX), Dr Bridget Crone (Curator & Writer), Karen Di Franco (Archivist & Curator) and Rose Lejeune (Curator).

Wednesday 2 May, 7–8:30pm
Subjectivity and Collectivity: Identity as Practice
A panel discussion with Estabrak Al-Ansari (artist), Ama Josephine Budge (writer, curator and artist), Helena Reckitt (curator & researcher) and Ash Reid (Cinenova).


  • Emily Davis
  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2018

  • In and Out of Time: How does Feminism Trouble Ideas of the Contemporary?

    My dissertation employed feminism as a lens to look at current concepts of the contemporary, questioning how the practice of the feminist art historian, curator and artist reveals a tension between feminism and contemporaneity - a pervasive, yet at times, elusive term. Coming to curating from an art historical background, I was keen to align feminist art historical debate with our contemporary climate, demonstrating that without intervention in the present moment a flawed model of art history could translate into art's future and into contemporary curatorial practice. Whose responsibility is it to intervene and ignite change within the process of history making and who has the greatest agency to prohibit this translation?

    As a feminist art historian, I continuously engage with writings on canonicity and the art historical canon, as I hope this will expand current discourse on patrilineage and the purpose of feminist art historical investigation to disabuse those notions of heroes and heroines. As a curator operating within this present moment, I intend to widen the parameters of 'the contemporary', carving out the necessary space for crucial feminist art historical questions to be considered as integral to this dialogue and its subsequent expansion. In merging these two disciplines, I hope to be a part of writing and critiquing contemporary art histories and their subsequent translation into the curatorial realm.

  • Degrees

  • MA History of Art, University of Edinburgh, 2016; History of Art, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2014–2015
  • Experience

  • Gallery Assistant, Daniel Raphael, London, 2017; Information Assistant, Talbot Rice Gallery & British Art Show 8, Edinburgh, 2015-2016
  • Exhibitions

  • 4717, The Dyson Gallery, London, 2018
  • Awards

  • Edinburgh Award, 2016