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Native Art Department International

Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset

June 29, 2021
— January 9, 2022

Programmed by Native Art Department International (NADI), a long-term collaborative project created and administrated by artists Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan, Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is a series of six-part online activations—With AR, With Artists, With Movement, With Sound, With Star Knowledge—designed for and informed by their public installation Double Gazebo. Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is co-produced by MOCA and Markham Public Art.

Double Gazebo comprises two intersected structures modeled on a traditional gazebo. Using social spaces as a point of departure, Double Gazebo expands on the concept by constructing something that operates both as inside and outside, to foster an interaction between the concept of space and occupation. A gazebo can be considered a rather conservative structure, but it is a familiar type, prevalent in the community in which one variant of the installation is installed. Double Gazebo intentionally disregards colonial definitions of what Indigenous art and design elements should look like. Instead, it calls into question the concept of “categorized aesthetic” in terms of both expression and self-representation.

The intention of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is multifold. Its online format is to address the related issues of social distancing and public art at this special time. Practically and metaphorically, it is to build a conceptual common ground that connects the installation’s two variants hosted at two places: Double Gazebo (Markham), commissioned by the City of Markham’s Public Art Program and located at the outdoor courtyard of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, on view now through November 28, 2021, and Double Gazebo (MOCA) that will be on view indoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto as part of MOCA’s inaugural triennial survey exhibition, Greater Toronto Art 2021, from September 29, 2021 through January 14, 2022. Conceived to activate various architectural potentials of the installation—an open-ended platform for observation, reflection, experimentation, and action—through the contributions by a network of local collaborators, the program highlights the mandate of NADI’s operation—kinship, relationality, and non-competition.

The five-part online activations have been and will be simultaneously launched on two variants’ respective project websites—Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA)—with a new project debuting each month from July through November 2021.

July
With AR (Markham)
Supported by ar-works

August
With Artists
By Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan (Native Art Department International)

September
With Movement
By Deanne Hupfield, Pow Wow Dancer

With AR (MOCA)

October
With Sound
By Dr. Mark Campbell, DJ

November
With Star Knowledge
By Dr. Hilding Neilsen, Astronomer

With Star Knowledge

November 1, 2021 — January 9, 2022

With Star Knowledge is the final episode of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset, a five-part series of online activations based on the public art installation Double Gazebo, by Native Art Department International (NADI). Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan, the artists behind NADI, undertook a conversation with astronomer Dr. Hilding Neilson. Unfolded under the moonlight on a beach by the water, the impromptu conversation takes our relationship with the moon and the stars in the sky as its point of departure. Flowing from Indigenous knowledge to astronomy to the physics of the Universe, the conversation considers how we study the universe and how we are related to it, from bodily, intellectual, cultural, and philosophical perspectives. As the saying goes, every star tells a story.

The video documentation of the conversation is directed and filmed by artist Liang Yue, with the assistance of Man Yi.

You can find this conversation’s transcript here.

Dr. Hilding Neilson is an interdisciplinary scientist, working on astrophysics and on the intersection of science, astronomy, and Indigenous knowledge. As a Mi’kmaw person, Neilson strives to embrace and integrate Indigenous knowledges and methodologies to better understand the physics of stars and the Universe and our place within it. More specifically, he probes the physics of stars. From the nuclear-burning core out to the circumstellar medium where stellar winds interact with the interstellar medium, Neilson seeks to understand connections between stars and planets; stars and cosmology; and stars and us. Neilson exploits theoretical and numerical tools, and compares these with observational data sets, to reveal the hidden physics of stars. He enjoys teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as participating in public outreach and science communication.

With Sound

October 1, 2021 — January 9, 2022

With Sound is the fifth of six online programmes under the roster of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset. These online activations support the Double Gazebo project created and conceived by Native Art Department International (NADI). For the With Sound component of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is Relations. Relations is a 7-minute audio journey by DJ Grumps, a.k.a. Dr. Mark V. C campbell. In this work, DJ Grumps puts to use a remix aesthetic to bring into conversation the dynamisms of three musical genres; Soca, Pow Wow, Two Step and Roots Reggae.

Moving between originals, remixes, samples and original production Grumps amplifies the relationality at the heart of double gazebo, signifying the power of sound to represent immaterial possibilities. This sonic exploration ruptures and relates categories, cultures and differences as mediated through the technological possibilities of turntables and digital music making.

Mark V. Campbell is a DJ, scholar and curator. His research explores the relationships between Afrosonic innovations and notions of the human. Dr. Campbell is a former Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Fine Arts at the University of Regina and current Principal Investigator in the SSHRC funded research project on Hip Hop Archives. As co-founder of the Bigger than Hip Hop radio show in 1997 and founder at Northside Hip Hop Archive in 2010, Mark has spent two decades embedded within the Toronto hip hop scene. Mark’s forthcoming books include B-sides and ‘Othered’ Kinds of Humans, the co-edited collection of essays, Hip Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production and Hip Hop in Canada: Diasporic and Indigenous Reverberations. Dr. Campbell recently published …Everything Remains Raw: Photographing Toronto hip hop Culture from Analogue to Digital as part of his Contact Festival exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. He has published widely, with essays appearing in the Southern Journal of Canadian Studies, Critical Studies in Improvisation, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and the Journal of World Popular Music. His popular writing can be found in various public sources, such as the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star as well as hip hop magazines such as Urbanology.

With AR (MOCA)

September 29, 2021 — January 9, 2022

With AR (MOCA) is the fourth of six online programmes under the roster of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset. These online activations support the Double Gazebo project created and conceived by Native Art Department International (NADI). Conceived as a virtual supplement to Double Gazebo (MOCA), With AR (MOCA) is an augmented reality experience of the gazebo currently residing in MOCA’s gallery spaces, as part of the exhibition GTA21. To discover the AR Gazebo, please go here. For best results, use a mobile platform.

Double Gazebo comprises two paired projects: Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA). Each gazebo is 11-feet high, and is composed of two intersecting structures, both of which are modeled on the traditional gazebo form. The installation offers partial shelter while simultaneously acting as a platform for shared experiences and an awareness that our bodies exist in and occupy space. It is important to note that these structures are understood to be intersected, not combined or conjoined, which emphasizes the fact that one cannot alter or remove one part without destroying the other.

Similar to our relationships with public spaces during the pandemic, Double Gazebo (MOCA) is experienced like an image, rather than a physical object. Reflecting broader debates around social spaces as places of exchange, connectivity, land use and standard approaches, Double Gazebo (MOCA) expands on concepts of dual use. It creates interactions between space and occupation, inside and outside, and darkness and light. Its black finish references shadows, the beauty that emerges when two things are set against one another and the infinite possibilities that a dark night sky inspires.

This project for GTA21 intentionally disregards colonial definitions of Indigenous art and design elements. Instead, it calls into question the concept of “categorized aesthetic,” in terms of both expression and self-representation. In the augmented reality supplement, the line between image and object is further blurred.

With Movement

September 1, 2021 — January 9, 2022

In With Movement, fancy shawl dancer Deanne Hupfield shares pow wow dancing, a high intensity expressive art form rooted in Indigenous wellbeing. Hupfield says “dancing is a way to think about hard things in our lives, move through them, and feel better after.”

For With Movement, Hupfield wears a gold jingle dress, which she made at the start of the pandemic as a process and vehicle to manage mental stress and build inner strength after stepping up to care for a family of seven during the lockdown in downtown Toronto. The “WW” pattern on the dress serves as a reminder to be her own Wonder Woman. The sound of the gold jingles matches her movements, to compliment the spirit of Double Gazebo, adding a rhythmic, embodied sonic element, and active visual presence.

The resulting documentary-style performative dance for video was filmed and edited by artist Liang Yue, with the assistance of Man Yi.

Deanne Hupfield is Anishnaabe from the Temagami First Nation in Ontario. A descendant of Indian Residential School survivors, she dedicates her life to learning about and preserving her culture. She started dancing at a young age and has spent her life passing on related teachings to her community. Hupfield has taught dance for the past 20 years, including weekend classes at The Native Canadian Center of Toronto. As an educator, she actively teaches the history of the Canadian policies that affect Indigenous people.

With Artists

August 1, 2021 — January 9, 2022

In With Artists, Maria and Jason of NADI, deploying reflective mylar, clear acetate, and spray paint, performed an unannounced action and had some fun with the Double Gazebo (Markham). A gesture that counters the expected making of site-specificity, a common idea prevalent in the field of public art, transforming the structure into a place with its own terms, in anticipating the installation’s next variant, Double Gazebo (MOCA). The resulting video in documentary style, launched on August 1, was filmed and edited by Markham and Shanghai based artist Liang Yue, with the assistance of Man Yi.

With AR

July 1, 2021 — January 9, 2022

With AR (Markham) is the first of six online programmes under the roster of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset. These online activations support the Double Gazebo project created and conceived by Native Art Department International (NADI). Conceived as a virtual supplement to Double Gazebo (Markham), With AR (Markham) is an augmented reality experience of the gazebo currently residing in the physical courtyard space of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. To discover the AR Gazebo, please go here. For best results, use a mobile platform.

The five-part online activations have been and will be simultaneously launched on two variants’ respective project websites—Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA)— with a new project debuting each month from July through November 2021.

Double Gazebo comprises two paired projects: Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA). Each gazebo is 11-feet high, and is composed of two intersecting structures, both of which are modeled on the traditional gazebo form. The installation offers partial shelter while simultaneously acting as a platform for shared experiences and an awareness that our bodies exist in and occupy space. It is important to note that these structures are understood to be intersected, not combined or conjoined, which emphasizes the fact that one cannot alter or remove one part without destroying the other.

The artworks are intended to reflect broader debates regarding social spaces of exchange, interaction, and land use. Using social spaces as a point of departure, Double Gazebo expands on the concept by constructing something that operates both as inside and outside, to foster an interaction between the concept of space and occupation.

A gazebo can be considered a rather conservative structure, but it is a familiar type, prevalent in the community in which this work is being installed. Double Gazebo intentionally disregards colonial definitions of what Indigenous art and design elements should look like. Instead it calls into question the concept of “categorized aesthetic” in terms of expression and self-representation.

To learn more about the Double Gazebo (Markham), please visit their website. Double Gazebo (MOCA) launches on September 29, 2021, as part of MOCA’s triennial, GTA21.

Native Art Department International (NADI) is a collaborative long-term project created and administered by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan. It focuses on communications platforms and art-world systems of support while at the same time functioning as emancipation from essentialism and identity-based artwork. It seeks to circumvent easy categorization by comprising a diverse range of undertakings such as curated exhibitions, video screenings, panel talks, collective art making, and an online presence, however all activities contain an undercurrent of positive progress through cooperation and non-competition.

Markham’s Public Art Program was first initiated in 2003 and formalized in 2012. Since 2013, five permanent artworks have been commissioned through the program, with two more currently in progress. In addition, the program has facilitated a series of community art initiatives in collaboration with the City’s Public Realm section. In the fall of 2019, Markham City Council approved its Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024, and a related Implementation Plan in winter 2020. The objectives of the program are to inspire people to live, work, visit, and invest in Markham; to celebrate the city’s diverse cultures and heritage from multiple points of view; and to connect residents to Markham’s built and natural environment.

Video documentation of the programmes are made by artist Liang Yue.

Programmed by Native Art Department International (NADI)
All programmes are a co-production with the City of Markham

Lead Sponsor, Public Programmes
Government Supporter

Native Art Department International, Concept sketch of Double Gazebo (Markham), 2020-21.

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