Episode 43. Introduction to #callresponse :: Interview with Artist/ Curators Tania Willard, Maria Hupfield and Tarah Hogue

#callresponse places the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists in a central location, giving proper respect and support to their roles as knowledge keepers, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, teachers and creators.” -Tarah Hogue from #callresponse: Situating Indigenous women in re/conciliation

Photo credit: Henry Chan, Nikamon Ochi Askiy (Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew): The Land Sings, Ursula Johnson created in collaboration with Cheryl L’Hirondelle, presented by FADO Performance Art Centre 2016. 

Photo credit: Henry Chan, Nikamon Ochi Askiy (Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew): The Land Sings, Ursula Johnson created in collaboration with Cheryl L’Hirondelle, presented by FADO Performance Art Centre 2016. 

For our Two Year Anniversary, Broken Boxes Podcast is honored to begin a series of interviews with the Artists involved in #callresponse. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples.

#callresponse is led by artist/curators Tarah HogueMaria Hupfield and Tania Willard, and in this episode they introduce us to the project and lead us into a series of conversations with the artists involved, which will run through August 2016.  

Here is the conversation with Tarah Hogue, Tania Willard and Maria Hupfield:

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Image: Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

Music featured throughout this episode by Laura Ortman and final track featured by Kinnie Starr

#callresponse Project Details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples.

An online platform will utilize the hashtag #callresponse on social media and a dedicated project website will serve to connect the geographically diverse sites and to generate discussion. An exhibition will be held at grunt gallery in October 2016 with guest respondents, accompanying programming, and a catalogue.

Maria Hupfield, Artist Tour Guide: McCord (2014), performance, McCord Museum, Montreal. Photo: Aimée Rochard.

Maria Hupfield, Artist Tour Guide: McCord (2014), performance, McCord Museum, Montreal. Photo: Aimée Rochard.

The project is led by Tarah Hogue (French/Dutch/Métis), Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe) and Tania Willard (Secwepemc) and features five lead artists working in the following locations: Maria Hupfield in Toronto ON, Montreal PQ, New York NY, Tania Willard in Secwepemc Territory BC and invited artists Christi Belcourt (Michif) on the North Shore of Lake Huron ON, Ursula Johnson (Mi'kmaw) in Toronto ON, Vancouver BC, and Laakkuluk Williamson­Bathory (Inuk) in Iqaluit NU.

Stay connected with the #callresponse project:

More about the Artists/Curators in this conversation: 

Tarah Hogue (Project Curator) is a writer and curator of mixed Dutch, French and Métis ancestry. She holds a BA(H) in Art History from Queen’s University and an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. Hogue is the Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at grunt gallery since 2014, where she is working on exhibitions, programming and developing a cross­Canada project, #callresponse, with Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard that builds upon her research on Indigenous feminisms. She has curated exhibitions at the Satellite Gallery (2011) and Or Gallery (2012) and was co­curator on two exhibitions about the India Residential School system: Witnesses: Art and Canada's Indian Residential Schools at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and NET­ETH: Going Out of the Darkness, organized by Malaspina Printmakers (both 2013). In 2009, she co­founded the Gam Gallery, an exhibition space, studio and boutique located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She has recently been awarded the Audain Aboriginal Fellowship with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and is curatin an upcoming exhibition for SFU Gallery in 2016. She has written texts for e­fagia, Capilano University and Presentation House Gallery, Artspeak, Decoy Magazine and the 2015 MFA Graduate Exhibition at UBC.

Maria Hupfield is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, currently based in Brooklyn NY. A featured international artist with SITE Santa Fe 2016, she received national recognition in the USA from the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation for her hand-sewn industrial felt sculptures. Hupfield was awarded a long term Canada Council for The Arts Grant to make work in New York with her nine-foot birchbark canoe made of industrial felt assembled and performed in Venice, Italy for the premiere of Jiimaan, coinciding with the Venice Biennale 2015. Upcoming projects include Free Play Trestle Gallery Brooklyn with Jason Lujan, and #callresponse, a multifaceted performance art based Canada Council for the Arts {Re}Conciliation Initiative Project, Grunt Gallery that presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women as artists central to the strength and healing of their communities. She is a guest speaker for the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program, University of British Columbia, Indigenous Feminist Activism & Performance event at Yale, Native American Cultural Center and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Indigenous Rights/Indigenous Oppression, Symposium with Tanya Tagaq at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, MD. Hupfield is an advocate of native community arts and activism; Founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, a native youth arts and mural outreach program in downtown Toronto, Co-owner Native Art Department International and 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). Hupfield is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montreal.

Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard was Aboriginal Curator in Residence with Kamloops Art Gallery from 2013­2015 and previously with grunt gallery 2008­2010. Recent curatorial work includes CUSTOM MADE/Tsitlem te stem te ckultens'kuc; this is Willard's culminating exhibition for her curatorial residency with Kamloops Art Gallery and features 20 contemporary artists working with ideas of that bisect the binary of contemporary and traditional. Willard's curatorial work also includes, Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, co­curated with Kathleen Ritter, Vancouver Art Gallery, featuring 27 contemporary Aboriginal artists which toured Nationally. She is currently working on co­curating a solo exhibition (May 2016), Unceded Territories, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun with Karen Duffek at Museum of Anthropology, UBC.

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswap www.landoftheshuswap.com)

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswap www.landoftheshuswap.com)


#callresponse project details:

Strategically centering Indigenous women as vital presences across multiple platforms, #callresponse is a multifaceted project which includes a website, social media platform, touring exhibition and catalogue. The project brings together five local art commissions by Indigenous women artists from across Canada, including Christi Belcourt, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Tania Willard and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory. Each artist has invited a guest to respond to their work, including Isaac Murdoch, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Marcia Crosby and Tanya Tagaq.

#callresponse is co-organized by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard, and produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional presentation partners include BUSH Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, FADO Performance Art Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, OFFTA live art festival, the National Arts Centre, and the Native Education College.

More resource on reconciliation HERE