Indigenous artist Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota) combines social collaboration with craft as his primary technique, using the methods of onsite social collaboration and social media call-to-action videos to support objects to be created on massive scale. This work aims to distill a cultural reflection into the shape of an object, installation or action. Whether working with institutions, communities or with the land itself, Luger’s work has become inherently social and requires engagement. Luger crafts richly symbolic objects but moreover, lays groundwork, establishes connections, and mobilizes action. His work supports us all to collectively challenge the systemic conditions of capitalism while claiming space for urgent and emergent Indigenous narratives. Luger’s project Counting Coup: Inalienable engages diverse communities through the act of making to consider ancestral migratory routes and the lands of Indigenous peoples affected by borders, acknowledging the asylum seekers and longstanding indigenous relationships to land. This project speaks to intersectionality and the impact of borders on Indigenous bodies across this continent whose migration routes have been traumatically interrupted, such as through incarceration and death.
Cannupa Hanska Luger is a New Mexico-based, multi-disciplinary artist. Raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, he is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. Using social collaboration and in response to timely and site-specific issues, Luger produces multi-pronged projects that take many forms. Through monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and cut-paper, Luger interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st century Indigeneity. His work provokes diverse publics to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring and oftentimes presents a call to action to protect land from capitalist exploits.