Native Art Department International, Bureau of Aesthetics

KADIST has invited Mercer Union, a non-profit artist-run center in Toronto, Canada for an art-space residency and exhibition in San Francisco. Mercer Union has conceived the residency as an incubator to consider collaboration and flexibility as vital approaches to working small scale.

Together, Mercer Union and KADIST take up these considerations in dialogue with Native Art Department International, a collaborative project by Toronto-based artists Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan. Their multi-disciplinary practice–comprising performance, sculpture, and video–examines systems of support in the art world while creating strategies across international contexts that challenge narratives that essentialize and instrumentalize specific identities.

For their exhibition at KADIST, Native Art Department International presents a selection of objects that highlight, through their art-making process, how collaboration and cooperation can interrogate art history and strengthen communities. Bureau of Aesthetics allows the artists to experiment with the ambiguous, contentious, or unknown aspects of their work, culminating their first solo exhibition in Canada at Mercer Union in March 2020.

Mercer Union’s residency marks the launch of KADIST’s art-space residency in San Francisco.