Back to All Events

Maya Stovall: Theorem, no. 1

The Tenderloin Museum and SFAI invite you on May 3rd at 3pm to witness an outdoor performance by renowned dance and movement artist Maya Stovall.

Maya Stovall makes art through small encounters in everyday life. Theorem, no.1, her new performance commission, 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.

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.

Maya Stovall’s Theorem, no. 1 occurs in conjunction with her exhibition, Under New Ownership, at the Fort Mason campus of the San Francisco Art Institute (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 is commissioned by the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) and presented with CounterPulse, SFAI, Tenderloin Walking Tours, and the Tenderloin Museum.

Maya Stovall: Theorem, no. 1

08 hr 00 min

May 3, 2019

1pm: SFAI Fort Mason campus

3pm: Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy St. at Leavenworth St.

5pm: CounterPulse, 80 Turk St.

7pm: SFAI Fort Mason campus

Collaborating performers

Seycon-Nadia Chea, Bana Kabalan, Mohamed Soumah, with the writings of Josef Caldwell  

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, Diana Gamboa, Desiray Hardaway, Marie Alana Stiles

Guide & historian

Del Seymour, Tenderloin Walking Tours


FMCAC: David Coffman, Marijane Kubow, Frank Smigiel

SFAI: Robin Beard & Kat Trataris

The Tenderloin Museum: Jean Blacksten, Katie Conry, Shawna Vesco

CounterPulse: Julie Phelps


The artist extends warm thanks to Del Seymour for taking her phone call and staying in touch, & to the people of San Francisco for sharing their streets.