Bio and CV

I am an artist in video, performance, installation and community-generated projects.  My work interrogates social imaginaries of American culture and how constructions of gender, race, class and progress operate in our shared myths, public rituals and private desires.

I’ve had solo shows at Catharine Clark Gallery (Box Blur Commission, collaborative with Ellen Sebastian Chang and Sunhui Chang), Grand Central Art Center (curated John Spiak), MCA Denver (curated Elissa Auther), Greenleaf Gallery, and group shows including MoCA Utah, LAND (Nomadic Division), Art Center College of Design, Navel LA, Angels Gate Cultural Center, Oakland Museum of CaliforniaHigh Desert Test Sites, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall (curated Jane Mulfinger), Autonomie Gallery, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among others.  

I was the inaugural recipient of the Pieter Performance Grant for Dancemakers, and received a 2020 Artist Residency at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation.

My writing has been published at The LA Review of Books, This American Life, Notes on Looking, The Frame at KPCC, ACID-FREE, The Awl, InDance Magazine, Theater Magazine, and an anthology, CRuDE, published by the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Bourges.  I also co-translated two novels by Israeli writer David Grossman, Be My Knife and Someone to Run With, for Farrar Straus & Giroux.  I co-host the weekly culture and politics podcast, The Sauce.

Social practice has been integral to my work since 2001, and I have led projects in that vein nationwide, in diverse rural, urban, and suburban communities. Hole in Space (Oakland Redux), commissioned by The Great Wall of Oakland in collaboration with Ellen Sebastian Chang, was recognized as the “Best Public Art Installation” in the Bay Area. The Field Experiment Atlanta 2016, I was commissioned to make new sound and video installations exploring Atlanta’s charged racial history.  In 2016, I was also awarded the Media Design Practices Summer Research Residency at Art Center with interaction designer Elizabeth Goodman for Gunworlds, mapping the intractable world of the gun debate.

I have received funding, awards and recognition from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the NEA, the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Contemporary Collectors, the Center for Cultural Innovation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Theater Bay Area, the Puffin Foundation, and the Bay Area Critics Circle.  I was an NEA/TCG Emerging Director Finalist, an Altvater Fellow with Cornerstone Theater Company, and have been selected for residencies with the University of Minnesota Theater and Dance Department, Hothouse at the UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Asylum, CounterPULSE, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  From 1998-2008, I wrote and directed original devised theater, creating new works in New York, rural Mississippi, San Diego, the SF Bay Area, and Los Angeles.

I teach art at the university level, and have taught graduate critique, undergraduate honors critique, video and performance at UC Santa Barbara, ArtCenter College of Design, and UC Irvine, among others.  I have a B.A. from Yale and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from UC Irvine.  Please feel free to contact me at mayagurantz at gmail dot com.

2 thoughts on “Bio and CV

  1. Hi Maya,

    I would love to email with you about your research surrounding gurus and spiritualists in Los Angeles, as well as your experiences at the ICI in general. I have been looking into the Visualist in Residence program as my work has some parallels to you practice, I thought I might reach out to you. My practice largely surrounds personal experiences growing up amidst the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, a group based in LA and founded by the late John-Roger Hinkins. My father is now the de facto spiritual teacher of the organization and I have just recently began to grapple with how I want to integrate this part of my biography that I have effectively shut out as an atheist into the content of my work. I am really interested in the nature of your research and in learning more about your approach to navigating the evocation of spiritual and occultist practice without necessarily ascribing to any system of beliefs. If you would at all be willing to start a dialogue, please let me know.


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