Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Essay'd 2 launch!

Exciting news: we're getting ready to launch Essay'd 2! This follow-up volume to last year's Essay'd: 30 Detroit Artists is a fully illustrated collection of installments #31-60 in our ongoing series of short essays about contemporary Detroit artists. (I contributed six of the 30 essays this go around, and also project managed the book's preparation.) Like its predecessor, Essay'd 2 is being published by Wayne State University Press.

I hope you'll be able to join me and the rest of the Essay'd crew, as well as the featured artists, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on Thursday, August 10th to celebrate the launch! We'll be partying at Cafe 78 inside the museum from 6:00-8:00 pm. There will be free food, a cash bar, and plenty of copies of the book for sale. Scott Northrup, an artist I wrote about for Essay'd back in March (that essay will be in Vol 2!) created a great poster to promote the event, which you'll start seeing around town soon:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Essay'd: Maya Stovall

Maya Stovall, Havnepladsen Ballet, nr. 7, Untitled 1, 2017. Performance, Aarhus, DK. 4 months. Image courtesy the artist.

(originally published 7/12/17 in Essay'd)

Art, ever sociable, is always in conversation with something else. One of artist Maya Stovall’s primary interlocutors is the City—that ever-shifting concatenation of street, sidewalk, and neighborhood; of people, power, and capital. (This conversation started early; Stovall recalls riding her bike to the Detroit Institute of Arts as a child and developing an “obsession” with the street life she encountered along the way.) For the last four years, she has pursued a related obsession, enacting and documenting an ongoing series of sidewalk performances and ethnographic interviews made near the liquor stores that dot her eastside neighborhood, McDougall-Hunt. Stovall, who trained in classical ballet, holds a Master’s degree in Economics, and is currently pursuing a PhD in both Performance Studies and Cultural Anthropology. She approaches the sprawling yet tightly focused Liquor Store Theatre project as a means to ask what she calls “monumental questions” about human existence via “close, rigorous, devoted, durational looking.”