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2021 Projects

Bureau of Aesthetics

Mercer Union

Toronto, ON

March 14 - Oct 31st 2020

exhibition view including multiple pieces by NADI


Mercer Union presents the first Canadian exhibition of Native Art Department International (NADI), a long-term collaborative project created and administered by Toronto-based artists Jason Lujan and Maria Hupfield.

While Hupfield and Lujan have respective artistic practices, their work together is authored under the designation of NADI, a collective that produces artworks, exhibitions, events and screenings. Their collaboration employs administrative language in order to frame their area of expertise and responsibility. This strategy provides NADI with greater freedom to contextualize their work on their own terms. As a result, they short-circuit potential expectations and stereotypes built into the name of the collective itself, communicating in terms that are broader than and strengthened by the work of its members and allies.

Working across various platforms, NADI’s projects and exhibitions prioritize kinship, relationality and non-competition in order to liberate artists, artworks and aesthetics from classifications ingrained in systems of power and interpretation. Their multi-disciplinary practice—comprising performance, sculpture and video—engages in a collaborative approach to bypass essentialist readings of contemporary artworks and reject reductionist positions projected onto the work of Indigenous cultural producers. Bureau of Aesthetics is comprised of a selection of objects that highlight NADI’s varying methods.