Markham Public Art presents Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset: With Movement
The City of Markham’s Public Art Program is pleased to present With Movement, the third installment of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset, a five-part series of online activations programmed by Native Art Department International (NADI) for their temporary public art installation Double Gazebo. The series creates a conceptual bridge connecting two variants: Double Gazebo (Markham) located in the outdoor courtyard of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, on view now through November 28, 2021, and Double Gazebo (MOCA) on view from September 29, 2021 through January 9, 2022 indoors at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Double Gazebo (MOCA) will be presented as part of MOCA’s inaugural triennial survey exhibition, the Greater Toronto Art 2021.
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.” She wears a gold jingle dress, which she made at the start of the pandemic. Hupfield used the process of making the dress as a vehicle to manage mental stress and build inner strength after stepping up to care for her 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 made by the gold jingles matches her movements, to complement the spirit of “Double Gazebo”, adding a rhythmic and 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.
To watch With Movement, please click HERE.
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 as both inside and outside, to foster an interaction between the concepts 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.
Designed for and informed by Double Gazebo, the intention of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is multifold. Its online format addresses the related issues of social distancing and public art at this special time. Practically and metaphorically, the program builds a conceptual common ground that connects the installation’s two variants, hosted at two different locations: Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA). Conceived to activate the 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 NADI’s mandate: to foster kinship, relationality, and non-competition.
To learn more about Double Gazebo (Markham) and the full program of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset, please click HERE to visit the project website.
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.
Double Gazebo (Markham) was conceived as part of Becoming Public Art: Working Models & Case Studies for Art in Public, a virtual public art summit that took place in the fall of 2020, co-curated by Markham’s Public Art Curator Yan Wu and Rebecca Carbin, Principle of ART+PUBLIC UnLtd. It is presented in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.
The program of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is a co-production between Markham Public Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto.
Markham Public Art Curator
Markham Public Art
The City of 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.