Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and San Francisco Art Institute
Through May 5th
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) and San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) jointly present Maya Stovall: Under New Ownership, an exhibition of the artist’s innovative performance-based interventions in public life. A self-described “radical ballerina,” Maya Stovall explores questions of human existence, creating works that “vividly juxtapose art and life” (The New York Times) through unannounced performances in contemporary urban spaces. The exhibition marks the latest partnership between FMCAC and SFAI, the latter of which rehabilitated the historic Fort Mason Pier 2 and opened their Fort Mason Campus in 2017.
Stovall’s Liquor Store Theatre (2014–present) stages and films performance actions in and around businesses in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood in Detroit. Stovall inserts sequences of performances in an otherwise everyday rhythm, drawing out the people shopping, rushing, and hanging around. The dancers’ centered movement is juxtaposed with Detroiters’ stories, drawing on the energy of the city’s corners, sidewalks, and parking lots to picture this urban fabric in new ways.
Under New Ownership brings together selections from Liquor Store Theatre and the video series Havnepladsen Ballet (2017) and Water City (2018). The exhibition highlights The Public Library (2018–present), an ongoing project performed and filmed in Saskatoon, CA. This new work takes Stovall’s artistic method outside of her hometown to foreground the people making the Saskatoon main library a public crossroads. Through her performance, Stovall elicits views on immigration, local and cross-border economics, narco-cultures, and civic pride. The exhibition also features two new conceptual sculpture series: Untitled (B-F), built from abandoned commercial signage; and the Theorem Sculptures (A-D), objects made with an eye to performance.