detroit

Maya Stovall, Liquor Store Theatre, vol. 4, no. 7, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes 13 seconds. From the series “Liquor Store Theatre,” 2014–.

Maya Stovall

Cranbrook Art Museum

Maya Stovall, Liquor Store Theatre, vol. 4, no. 7, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes 13 seconds. From the series “Liquor Store Theatre,” 2014–.

In Detroit, there are no bodegas, just liquor stores. This is part of why Maya Stovall’s 2014– video series “Liquor Store Theatre”—eighteen installments of which are currently on view at the Cranbrook Art Museum—could not have been made anywhere else. For Stovall, who is a Motor City native, these windowless mom-and-pops are neighborhood sanctuaries. With foreclosures of other types of businesses, liquor stores have expanded to become mini superstores additionally selling clothes, food, toys, cleaning supplies, and smoking paraphernalia.

Each of the short videos showcased at the museum embodies different aspects of the city. Interspersed among choreographed scenes of meditative ballet and experimental dance performed by several artists (including Stovall herself) are interviews with people Stovall met at the shooting locations. The series combines documentary journalism,

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