Multidisciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger creates monumental installations, sculptures, and performances, to communicate urgent stories about 21st-century Indigeneity, incorporating ceramics, steel, fiber, video, and repurposed materials to reclaim and reframe a more accurate version of Native American culture and its global relevance. Luger combines critical cultural analysis with dedication and respect for the diverse materials, environments, and communities he engages while provoking diverse audiences to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring.
Co-commissioned by UMMA and Monument Lab, the centerpiece of Luger’s newest project You’re Welcome resides on the exterior of UMMA’s building and responds to the question: “How do we remember on this campus?” Luger’s work asks the campus and community to reconsider the memories molded into the Museum’s stone — the perspectives that shaped those traditions and the stories that remain unseen in our façade. This artistic interrogation dissects colonialist norms of monument-making, explores the roles of buildings in upholding dominant cultural narratives, and offers an approach to memorials that centers Indigenous perspectives and collaboration to tell fuller stories and histories.
Born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, New Mexico-based artist Cannupa Hanska Luger is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota heritage. Luger is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of a 2021 United States Artists Fellowship Award for Craft and was named a 2021 GRIST Fixer. He is a 2020 Creative Capital Fellow, a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, and the recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s 2018 inaugural Burke Prize, among others. Luger has exhibited nationally and internationally including at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gardiner Museum, Kunsthal KAdE, Washington Project for the Arts, Art Mûr, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Luger will be joined in conversation with Monument Lab co-founder Paul M. Farber, Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab.
Presented in partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Art, with support from the Arts & Resistance LSA Theme Semester. This project was made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan.
Lead support for You’re Welcome is provided by Teiger Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick, Michigan Humanities, and the University of Michigan Arts Initiative. Additional generous support is provided by Melissa Kaish and Jonathan Dorfman.
Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.
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