Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail traces of human gestures and evoke reactions or memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. Maria Hupfield’s artistic practice reveals the way objects can trigger relationships between humans or environments.
For her exhibition The One Who Keeps On Giving, Hupfield developed a video installation centred on an object: an oil painting of a seascape by her late mother Peggy Miller. The artist invited her siblings to participate in a performance rooted in memories evoked by the painting that initially took place in Parry Sound, Ontario – the setting depicted on the canvas. To ground the filmed performance and to accompany the painting in the exhibition context, Hupfield and her siblings re-enacted the performance in the gallery space, the setting for the second film.
Alongside this newly commissioned work, the exhibition includes a selection of objects that have been regularly activated during Hupfield’s performances in recent years: a canoe, a snowsuit, a snowmobile helmet, mitts and boots, a cassette recorder with headphones, a light bulb and seven items solicited from other artists. All of these objects are replicated in felt, a material which equalizes the objects beyond their specific functions.
The One Who Keep On Giiving is an English translation of Maria Hupfield’s mother’s Anishinaabe name.