Maya Vivas is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of mediums such as ceramic, performance, painting, social practice and installation. Maya has exhibited work, spoken on panels and hosted workshops throughout the United States including venues and institutions such as Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Louisiana State University and Yale. Vivas is also co-founder of Ori Gallery. Whose mission is to redefine “the white cube” through amplifying the voices of Queer and Trans Artists of color, community organizing and mobilization through the arts.
Through sculptural gesture, absurdity, carnality, speculative fiction, and body horror, I navigate questions of diasporic body memory and space as filtered through the senses
“The slow nature of the process in creating these works has a direct connection to my own radical emergence, serving as a time stamp of personal adaptation, the radical act of shameless sensuality and self love, and accepting the abundance that community has to offer. I am interested in the intersections of time and entities that appear simultaneously static and dynamic”
“There is a long history throughout the world of colonization, and the use of blackness as a commodity. Everything from physical bodies to music has been forcibly made available for white consumption. Through the use of black clay and the physical act of the work being hung and available for purchase, the works make a direct connection to the slave auction, implicating the viewer as a participant in the capitalistic game of purchasing black goods.
These pieces of black body are on display for one to judge, revere, gawk, ponder, and covet. The choice of using a black clay body extends far beyond aesthetics. What gives this clay its color is the high concentration of the mineral manganese. While harmless when fired, prolonged exposure to this clay dust in it’s raw from, can lead to manganese toxicity.
Symptoms of which include, tremors, facial muscle spasms and difficulty walking, often preceded by psychiatric symptoms such as irritability aggressiveness and even hallucinations. Parallels can be drawn between the black experience and manganese toxicity. To have breath in a black body is a hazardous to ones health. “
“Clay has taught me that you have to let go. There are things beyond your control and there in lies it’s beauty. It leaves room for the unexpected and opens you up to new paths and possibilities. It asks you to have trust in another body and trust in yourself.”
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