Maria Hupfield. The One Who Keeps On Giving

Exhibition organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto)

Curator: Carolin Köchling

Artist: Maria Hupfield

January 11, 2018 - March 3, 2018

Opening: January 10, 2018, 5:30 pm

Galerie de l’UQAM opens 2018 with the highly anticipated exhibition Maria Hupfield. The One Who Keeps On Giving, on a Canadian tour since its presentation at The Power Plant (Toronto) in the winter of 2017. Curated by Carolin Köchling, the exhibition includes a selection of objects and videos derived from the performative practice of the artist from the Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, now established in Brooklyn. Maria Hupfield’s work deploys delicate questions about objects and the memories, gestures or relationships they evoke.

Maria Hupfield will present a performance with Electric Djinn and ODAYA during the opening. This evening will also be the occasion to launch the catalog of the exhibition, hot off the press. In addition, the Espace magazine staff will be present to launch its new issue articulated around the theme of Wounds.

The exhibition

Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail traces of human gestures and evoke reactions or memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. Maria Hupfield’s artistic practice reveals the way objects can trigger relationships between humans or environments.

For her exhibition The One Who Keeps On Giving, Hupfield developed a video installation centred on an object: an oil painting of a seascape by her late mother Peggy Miller. The artist invited her siblings to participate in a performance rooted in memories evoked by the painting that initially took place in Parry Sound, Ontario – the setting depicted on the canvas. To ground the filmed performance and to accompany the painting in the exhibition context, Hupfield and her siblings re-enacted the performance in the gallery space at The Power Plant in Toronto, the setting for the second film.

Alongside this newly commissioned work, the exhibition includes a selection of objects that have been regularly activated during Hupfield’s performances in recent years: a canoe, a snowsuit, a snowmobile helmet, mitts and boots, a cassette recorder with headphones, a light bulb and seven items solicited from other artists. All of these objects are replicated in felt, a material which equalizes the objects beyond their specific functions.

The One Who Keeps On Giving is an English translation of Maria Hupfield’s mother’s Anishinaabe name.

The artist

Maria Hupfield (born 1975 in Parry Sound, Georgian Bay, Ontario) is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina, 2015), Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montréal, 2015) and Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon, 2011). She has participated in group exhibitions and performances at Trestle Projects Brooklyn (2016), SITE Santa Fe Biennial (2016), A Space Gallery (Toronto, 2015), Campo dei Gesuiti (Venice, 2015), Aboriginal Art Centre (Ottawa, 2015), The Bronx Museum (New York, 2015), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, 2015), Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides (Saint Jérôme, 2015), North Native Museum (Zurich, 2014), SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art (Montréal, 2013), and Vancouver Art Gallery (2012). Hupfield is the founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, a project from Native Child and Family Services of Toronto; co-owner of Native Art Department International; and was Assistant Professor in Visual Art and Material Practice appointed to the Faculty of Culture and Community, Emily Carr University of Arts and Design (2007-11).

The curator

Carolin Köchling studied History of Art and Literature in Rome and Berlin. Since 2016 she has been Curator of Exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto. As a curator she conceived Claudia Andujar’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in Europe for the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt (2017). During her time at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2012–14), Köchling curated an exhibition on Brazilian street art, a solo presentation of Helene Schjerfbeck, and co-organized the cinema program with artists such as James Richards, Keren Cytter and Mohamed Bourouissa. Prior to that, she was involved in the expansion of the Städel Museum Frankfurt’s contemporary art collection, and its initial presentation in the new museum wing (2010–12). From 2012 to 2015, Köchling regularly lectured at Goethe-University Frankfurt.

The catalogue

Launched during the opening at Galerie de l’UQAM, the book Maria Hupfield. The One Who Keeps On Giving includes extensive exhibition views, essays by Crystal Migwans and Richard William Hill as well as a conversation between Maria Hupfield and the artist Andrea Geyer.

Maria Hupfield. The One Who Keeps On Giving
Editor: The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
2017, 128 p., bilingual (English and French)

Espace #118 (Winter 2018) – Wounds

Can we heal our wounds? And to do so, must we relegate them to oblivion or consign them to a form of liberating reconciliation? In the field of aesthetic representation, how can an artistic gesture bring relief to the spirit? The texts of this issue, launched during the opening of Maria Hupfield. The One Who Keeps On Giving, elaborate various perspectives on these questions.

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