This 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 not only a continuum of culture but also a continuum of 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 Richard Serra, Hupfield disrupts to problematize and participate in an act of space-making within the post-war art landscape, and reimagines thematic elements of their work in our present day environment, and truncates functionality with material. Additionally, the exhibition engages with material investigating the impact and residue of colonial occupation of Indigenous lands in the United States and Canada. Hupfield also draws from work from 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 bodies. The exhibition will be accompanied by a special edition issue of “RED INK: International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities” edited by 2018 MacArthur Fellow Natalie Diaz (Mojave) and will feature essays from leading Indigenous thinkers, scholars, and creatives.
“Museums need to acknowledge and remedy the lack of space given to women artists in the global art community, and furthermore the lack of space given to women of color within that framework. The women selected for this series are incredible, dynamic artists, and should be celebrated. It is not just about showing their work to make up for the lack of space given to their sex, but because of their work is important and engaging with critical dialogues – it is about de-ghettoizing their work and their bodies.”
Hupfield is an Anishinaabe-kwe, and member of the Wasauksing First Nation. 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.
MARIA HUPFIELD: Nine Years Towards the Sun is the first in the Heard Museum’s newly established exhibition series of monographic shows for women and women identifying artists. The series of exhibitions will redress the impact women have made on and in the field of fine art, and will illuminate the rich bodies of work that women artists have created and continue to create to this day.