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  • Oct 16, 2018
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Maya Stovall, The Public Library, vol. 1, no. 5, choreographic photographs: Untitled 1 (“Spyglass”), 2018.


Maya Stovall: Compulsion and Heart

November 2 to December 8, 2018
Artist Talk: Friday, November 2 at 7pm
Opening: Friday, November 2 at 8pm
Curated by Tarin Dehod

Maya Stovall: Compulsion and Heart places the artist’s Saskatoon centered project, The Public Library (2018-ongoing), in dialogue with her global practice and bodies of work. The Public Library, a series of video and photo documented conceptual performances and discussions in the streets and sidewalks surrounding Saskatoon’s downtown public library branch, emerged during Stovall’s artist residency at AKA.

Equally anthropological research and conceptual art practice, in The Public Library, the artist meditates the politics of space and place in a fraught and complex city. In Maya Stovall: Compulsion and Heart, for the first time, the artist’s Liquor Store Theatre (2014-17) and Water City (2018-ongoing) projects, each meditating on the complexities of city life in Detroit, Michigan, are placed in direct dialogue with her Saskatoon works, provoking a dialogue between the two cities and the two countries, and the people on the streets and sidewalks who make the art and life of a city happen, day in and day out.

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Dr. Maya Stovall (b. 1982 in Detroit, Michigan, lives and works in Pomona, Calif.) She is a Whitney Biennial artist (2017), and F-Series artist at the Studio Museum in Harlem (Fictions, 2017-18), and is artist and Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona, in the Dept. of Liberal Studies. Interested in what she considers monumental questions of human existence, her Liquor Store Theatre (2014-17, Detroit, Michigan) and Public Library (2018-ongoing, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) bodies of work investigate the politics of space and place alongside people’s complex reflections on city life.

Maya exhibits work and presents commissions widely in solo and group exhibitions and biennales across international museums and institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Her work has recently appeared at The Whitney, Atlanta Contemporary, Newbridge Projects (United Kingdom), the Maryland Institute College of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Canada (Toronto), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Cranbrook Art Museum (Detroit), Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco), The Studio Museum in Harlem, Library Street Collective (Detroit), Pop Montreal, and more. She has been an invited artist in residence recently at the University of Aarhus (Denmark) and Aka Artist Run (Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada).

She has published peer-reviewed academic articles on her anthropological field research and her contemporary art practices in Transforming Anthropology and Journal of the Anthropology of North America, as well as in publications including Detroit Research Journal and The American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) Anthropology News. Maya’s works are included in the permanent collections at The Cranbrook Art Museum and The Whitney Museum of American Art, and her book centered on her dissertation work, Liquor Store Theatre, is forthcoming with Duke Press, edited by Ken Wissoker, in fall 2019.


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© Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved. AKA artist-run would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, and Saskatchewan Lotteries.

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