Maitreyi Ray | Controlled Burn Featured Artist

Maitreyi Ray | Controlled Burn Featured Artist

Tell us about the work you’re performing at Controlled Burn. What’s it about?

I made a short movie paired with an abecedarian poem – a poem where each line is a successive letter in the alphabet. The poem is about falling in love on a faraway blue planet, and the movie is sort of unrelated – mostly capturing impressions of my winter in Minneapolis.

What motivates your work as an artist? 

I feel motivated by how wonderfully weird and horny the world is around me. I am interested in people having a sensual relationship with my work– sometimes that means arranging a poem so that you can feel a word like “bubble” in your mouth or pairing images together that produce delight, curiosity and sometimes revulsion. I am trans and think it is important to place my body, my desire, my community in a relationship with the strangeness and wonder of the deep sea, space and stars, fungal rhizomes in forests.

Which artists have inspired you?

I love AP Looze’s work so much! There was a piece last Controlled Burn by Jaffa Aharonov that has been on my mind ever since I saw it; that was when I started thinking about my transness as a kind of embodiment that is extra-sensory and spiritual. I am also really inspired by Dua and D. Allen. We are so lucky to live in Minneapolis among so many incredible artists!

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities?

I love going to the steam room at the Midtown YWCA! I think it’s so lovely to be in the middle of a city and be in this room sweating in your underwear with strangers. I learn a lot about myself in the steam room.

Maitreyi will be performing on Thursday, February 13 @ 7:30pm at Controlled Burn: Queer Performance for a World on Fire.