Flux Exchange: Cannupa Hanska Luger
Cannupa Hanska Luger’s Exchange began in November 2018. Over the next two years he will explore Atlanta, engage with our artists and audience, and work toward the creation of a site-specific work in our city.
“In a world polarized politically, economically, racially, and sexually we are forced to question our trust. However our trust is the mortar that binds our intelligence. We need one another now more than ever. But, how do we see eye to eye with human groups we don’t trust. Enter the artist. If we can subvert the idea art is an object, a noun, then we can reinstate the truth that art is a verb, an action. In developing processes that include society as a medium the act of making builds communities that are embedded in the object of these processes. It connects people that may not engage with one another to create work together. Thus the role of artist is bridge-builder.”
– Cannupa Hanska Luger
About the Artist
Cannupa Hanska Luger is a New Mexico-based, multi-disciplinary artist. Raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, he is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. Using social collaboration and in response to timely and site-specific issues, Luger produces multi-pronged projects that take many forms. Through monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut-paper, Luger interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st century Indigeneity. This work provokes diverse publics to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring and oftentimes presents a call to action to protect land from capitalist exploits.
In November 2018, Luger was named the inaugural recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s Burke Prize. Recent, notable works include The MMIWQT Bead Project (2018), a social collaboration resulting in the monumental sculptural installation Every One, composed of over 4000 individual handmade clay beads created by hundreds of communities across the U.S. and Canada to re-humanize the data of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, queer and trans community members; and The Mirror Shield Project (2016), a social engagement work which invited the public to create mirrored shields for water protectors at Standing Rock and which has since been formatted and used in various resistance movements across the nation.
Luger has exhibited internationally including venues such as Nathan Cummings Foundation, Washington Project for the Arts, Art Mûr in Montreal, Museum of Northern Arizona, Orenda Gallery in Paris, Autry Museum of the American West, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, among others. He lectures and participates in residencies around the globe and his work has been collected internationally. Luger holds a BFA in studio arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts and was a 2016 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellow.
Della Warrior, Director of The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture stated that “Cannupa Hanska Luger is doing important and vital work, which combines cultural analysis with dedication and respect for human beings, diverse materials, environments and communities with which he engages.”, and The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation noted that “Luger could well rise to be one of those artists whose caliber is unmatched and whose work will be studied by students to come, thus furthering the path for many more contemporary Native artists.”