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  • Jun 18, 2018
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Maya Stovall, Untitled 1, The Library Public, vol. 1, no. 2, 2018.

Water City
Maya Stovall
July 2018 Residency
July 19, 7pm Artist Talk

For the month of July AKA will be hosting Maya Stovall as an Artist-in-Residence, researching her upcoming exhibition Water City opening Friday November 2, 2018 at AKA. Join us Thursday July 19, 7pm for an artist talk with Stovall.

Maya Stovall, The Public Library, vol. 1, no. 3  Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA HD video, color, stereo surround sound, 2018.


Stovall on Water City:
Water City Ballet
flows from my internationally exhibited ethnographic contemporary art project, Liquor Store Theatre, that was included in the Whitney Biennial, is the subject of my Ph.D., and for which I have a book contract with Duke University Press. Toward the end of Liquor Store Theatre, a series of filmed performances and conversations in the streets and sidewalks surrounding liquor stores in Detroit, MI, USA, several surprising themes emerged. These themes were decidedly linked to water, air, and land – and how the politics of classed, racialized, gendered, sexualized domination structured and sutured access to the resources of the city.

In Water City, I approach my research agenda as a contemporary artist and an anthropologist with my interests in asking questions of human struggle – what is the intersectional, queered, struggle for the ecological city, in which the notions of what the city might need to include, and for whom, are expanded to include discussions of ecologies of green and blue space and place; accumulation by dispossession; and the future of an Anthropocene? Moving through landscapes of U.S., in Detroit and LA County, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, I deploy surreal, bizarre, philosophical wanderings9 in visual form, through conceptual performances. At the banks of water’s edge, in the fields and expanses of islands and parks, and in unexpected but peopled spaces in sites of nature in and near cities, conceptual performances, filmed and documented, bleed into discussions with people on the nature of access to resources in cities, and to questions of power, domination, and access, across conceptual and geographic landscapes. Working with conceptual performances, sculptural objects, and the text of my informants, I spin a fantastical world within an existing world of people, histories, memories, and historical-materialist realities. Like my Liquor Store Theatre, Water City exists as equally an effort of ethnography and cultural anthropology, and an effort of contemporary art in which medium is at once challenged, pressed, and central.


Maya Stovall is equally a contemporary artist and an ethnographer, interested in what she thinks of as monumental questions of human existence. Searching out fraught and charged places and spaces, and in those spaces, meditating on the affect and desire of the day-to-day.

Particularly interested in post-minimalist, process-driven, surrealist aesthetics and movements, and performance is, forher, fundamentally a visual form. Surrounded in philosophy and theory, and resonating with her way of being in the world, Stovall’s work at present spans moving image, still image, and conceptual sculpture. Text and theory spins through all my practices.

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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.