Flatfile » Matty Davis »

Location: Tucson

Website: www.mattydavis.net

Matty Davis is an artist and choreographer whose work uses embodied forms of risk, trust, and empathy to locate and expand relationships to the self, other people, land, and history. Unique and multi-faceted, each of these relationships, i.e., projects, is part of a broader orbit around perennial questions of mortality, desire, and how to deal with one another and survive together. Davis was born in Pittsburgh, PA, where his grandfather worked in the steel mills and his dad’s plane crashed. He grew-up as a multi-sport athlete, which exposed him to visceral experiences of surface, injury, resilience, cooperation, and play that continue to influence his interdisciplinary work. While expansive in its outcomes—sculpture, drawing, photography, and books—his projects predominantly manifest in performance and dance, which he values as shared space in which to be sensitively and transformatively alive. With people, bodies, hearts, and minds at stake, his performances have been described as “balancing ecstatically on the edge of life and death” (Zaritt). Over the last several years, Davis’s work has been mostly presented in site-specific contexts appropriate to the demands of a given work. Beyond what is happening within a performance, he is critically attuned to what is present and happening around it. Institutionally, Davis’s work has been presented at the Art Institute of Chicago, the ICA Miller at Carnegie Mellon University, the Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Kanal Centre Pompidou, Bozar, the Palais de Tokyo, the Max Ernst Museum, Printed Matter, Pioneer Works, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, Danspace, and the 92nd St. Y, among others. He has been commissioned to make performances for artists including Hito Steyerl, and has performed in works with and by Guido van der Werve, David Hallberg, and Francesco Vezzoli. In 2019, Davis was named 1 of 25 Artists to watch by Dance Magazine. He enjoys teaching masterclasses and workshops at various institutions throughout the US and abroad, including New York University, the University of Iowa, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Kansas City Art Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oberlin College, Firkin Crane (Cork, Ireland) and Charleroi Danse (Brussels). He currently lives in California and is most often working outside somewhere.