MARIA HUPFIELD: Nine Years Towards the Sun, a solo exhibition of Canadian / Anishinaabek artist Maria Hupfield will feature more than 40 works by the conceptual performance artist. The exhibition, curated by Heard Museum Fine Arts Curator Erin Joyce, will take place over several exhibition spaces and range in content from performance, sculptural installation, video, and document. The works on view will be activated through movement, sound, memory, documentation, and collaboration – the exhibition will function as a living archive which continually replenishes itself with content throughout its five-month run. The exhibition plays with notions of a continuum of culture, entering into conversation with thematic elements from major movements and artists within the 20th century art historical canon. Engaging materially, formally, and often conceptually with the practices of artists like Robert Morris, Jimmie Durham, Joseph Beuys, and Claes Oldenburg, Hupfield focuses on the act of space making within the postwar art landscape through disruption, reimagining thematic elements of their work in our present-day postwar environment. She subverts functionality of object by using materials which render their original intention or usage inert. Which can be seen in object such as Jiiman, 2015 in which Hupfield constructed a traditional hunting canoe from gray industrial felt. Additionally, the exhibition engages with material investigating the impact and residue of colonial occupation of Indigenous lands. Hupfield builds on the work of artists who precede her and have made space and held space in the field of contemporary art; artists such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Faye Heavyshield, Simone Fonti, Rebecca Belmore, and the Brooklyn performance art community. MARIA HUPFIELD: Nine Years Towards the Sun will retool the museum space as a laboratory, as a performance venue, and as an archive that prioritizes and makes space for diverse bodies. The body is a major element to the work of Hupfield and is heavily represented in the exhibition; from wooden structures that suggest the form of the body to items meant to be worn on the body, it is an active reminder of the artist and of indigenous peoples in North America.
Hupfield is an Anishinaabe-kwe, and member of the Wasauksing First Nation, located in the Georgian Bay region of Perry Sound off Lake Huron. Known for her sculptural work, film installation, and activation of objects through performative gestural movement, Hupfield creates work that engage time as a medium, spanning across different scales and moments. The projects reject the essentialization of Indigeneity, the commodification of Nativeness, and fetishized exoticism and replaces it with a reclamation of agency in representation, accountability, storytelling, and solidarity building. Her work unsettles stereotypical and harmful notions of Native peoples in Canada and the United States and intervenes with new histories and meanings. Hupfield pays special attention to the meanings and stories of objects, how they are read, how and where they are used, and what their impact is on cultural environments.
Malcolm and Robin Anthony
The Pascal Desjardins and Roxanne Arsenault Collection
Julia and Robert Foster
François R. Roy
Todd Vigil, HEARD MUSEUM
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Top: Maria Hupfield, excerpt from Ahn Ahn Ahn Kaa Kaa Kaa. Single channel video with sound on continuous loop. Collection of Robin Anthony.