Artist Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabek, Wasauksing First Nation [Canada]) works dynamically at the intersection of performance art, design, and sculpture, positioning art objects as active belongings. In her practice, sculptures become performers in a choreography between artist, audience, and art gallery. Vanessa Dion Fletcher describes her as “a maker, a mover, a connector, an Anishinaabe-kwe of Wasauksing First Nation … Hupfield’s work is never static. Her performances, sculptures, and installations reference different spans and scales of times. She values expansive exchange over isolation, and inclusion over hierarchy.”
Developed through a residency at the Lucas Artists Residency Program, Total Synchronization (2023) is a twenty-minute live “in-the-moment” encounter in which Hupfield activates the museum as a site of culture and creation, further emphasizing the value of shared experience in the creation and memory of a living work of art.
At the Hessel Museum, this performance art sequence will incorporate scored and unscored movement, sound, and vocalizations within the exhibition Indian Theater. Four of Hupfield’s pieces are currently on display at the Hessel Museum, including Distinct, Portable and Often Stolen (2022), Native New Yorker (2015), Acknowledgement Banner (2021), and Double Triangles (2023). For this occasion, Hupfield has created an additional set of complementary industrial-felt belongings and other “sound-tools” to be introduced, demonstrated, worn, and further put to use in the space alongside the displayed works.
Maria Hupfield, a transdisciplinary artist, crosses boundaries at the intersection of performance art and design. She is deeply invested in embodied practice, Native feminisms, and ethical collaborative processes. Her work positions the art object as active belongings, with sculptures becoming performers in a form of object choreography between artist, audience, and art gallery; her works are engaged in an ongoing series of relations with community, places, ideas, and materials. She is an urban off-reservation member of the Anishinabek People belonging to Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario.