Maya Stovall: Theorem, no. 1
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
THIS PERFORMANCE TOOK PLACE ON MAY 3, 2019.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) and San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) jointly presented Maya Stovall: Theorem, no.1. In conjunction with the close of the artist’s exhibition Under New Ownership, Stovall presented a live performance on May 3, 2019, commissioned by FMCAC. Distilling the thinking and theorizing behind earlier projects, Theorem, no.1 is a meditation on the fervor, grit, and craving of the day-to-day urban experience.
Theorem, no.1 unfolds in the streets and sidewalks — spaces fraught and celebrated — where that life takes place. Spinning a score that the artist refers to as “The Anti-Pop Up” or “The Anti-Flash Mob,” Theorem, no.1 gathers artists and collaborators to weigh the distances between neighbors, public spaces, and art worlds. Led by the movement of Seycon-Nadia Chea, Bana Kabalan, and Mohamed Soumah and the soundscapes of Todd Stovall, a group of 15 interconnected souls take actions from reading, eating, crying, sucking, thinking, kissing, writing, and praying. Together, they weave us into a procession of urban research, wonder, grit, and feeling.
The performance started at 1:00 p.m. at the Fort Mason campus of SFAI, and continued into the afternoon at partner organizations Tenderloin Museum and CounterPulse. Theorem, no.1 concluded with a return to SFAI Fort Mason for a celebratory moment. Theorem, no.1 had free admission at all locations — follow #TheoremSF to watch the performance unfold throughout the day.
Scheduled activations on May 3, 2019:
- 1:00 pm: SFAI Fort Mason campus
- 3:00 pm: Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy Street, San Francisco (SF)
- 5:00 pm: CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street, SF
- 7:00 pm: SFAI Fort Mason campus
For public transportation between the Tenderloin Museum/CounterPulse and Fort Mason Center, consider MUNI bus routes 19, 47 and 49.
Image credit: Maya Stovall, MANIFESTO, no. 2, 2017, Pop Montréal; Photo courtesy Robb Jamieson and Pop Montréal.
About the Artist
Working through theory and performance, moving and still image, installation and interview, Maya Stovall explores the big questions of human life. She works as a conceptual artist and an anthropologist, and she has exhibited in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2017–18 F-Series. Her book, Liquor Store Theatre, arrives from Duke University Press in spring 2020. Her second book on the imprint, Writing Through Walls, co-authored with her brother Josef Cadwell, is forthcoming. She lives and works in Detroit where she grew up, as well as in Los Angeles County, where she is an assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), Pomona.
Theorem, no. 1 occured in conjunction with Stovall’s exhibition, Under New Ownership, at the Fort Mason campus of SFAI. Aggregating and refining her MANIFESTO, no. 1-3 series presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Pop Montreal, and Cranbrook Art Museum, Theorem, no.1 was commissioned by FMCAC and presented with CounterPulse, SFAI, Tenderloin Walking Tours, and Tenderloin Museum.
Collaborating performers: Seycon-Nadia Chea, Bana Kabalan, Mohamed Soumah, with the writings of Josef Cadwell appropriately. Original dance music: Todd Stovall. Collaborators of the artist: Duane Belin, Kai Belin, Kia Belin, Josef S. Cadwell, E.L. Chaotic, Jeffrey Durham, Todd Elkin, Marie Alana Stiles. Guide + historian: Del Seymour, Tenderloin Walking Tours. Production: (FMCAC) David Coffman, Marijane Kubow, Frank Smigiel. (SFAI) Robin Beard, Kat Trataris, Heather Hickman Holland. (Tenderloin Museum) Jean Blacksten, Katie Conry, Shawna Vesco. (CounterPulse) Julie Phelps, Justin Ebrahemi, Justine Fernandez.
The artist extends warm thanks to Del Seymour for taking her phone call and staying in touch, and to the people of San Francisco for sharing their streets.
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art.
Tenderloin Walking Tours take you on a journey of discovery, revealing new aspects of the neighborhood and astounding you with the visions and stories of those who have shaped it and who live and work there today.
Tenderloin Museum celebrates the rich history of one of San Francisco’s most overlooked neighborhoods, highlighting the pioneering activism and fierce resistance woven into our 31-square blocks.
CounterPulse represents a 25-year legacy of experimental and interdisciplinary dance and performance in San Francisco and continues to build a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community.