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Home /  Exhibitions / Past Exhibitions / Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One & Kali Spitzer: Sister
A curtain of clay beads forming a portrait of an Indigenous woman

Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One & Kali Spitzer: Sister

Fri Aug 30, 2019 to Jan 12, 2020, All Day

Lobby Display

Read The New York Times article

The crisis surrounding murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, trans, and queer community members continues, with thousands of documented cases in both Canada and the U.S.

The Gardiner presents the Canadian premiere of artist Cannupa Hanska Luger’s Every One, a monumental social sculpture commemorating victims of the crisis. Every One visualizes the data behind the MMIWQT crisis, transforming large and abstract numbers into a representation of individual lived experiences. Responding to data collected by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Luger created a call to action video shared through social media that invited communities across the United States and Canada to make 2-inch clay beads, each one representing a unique person who has been lost. Hundreds of participants held workshops, both with Luger and on their own, making the beads in studios, community centres, universities, and private homes. These experiences generated over 4,000 beads, as well as numerous conversations, stories, and occasions for healing through clay.

Every One references and stands in solidarity with the photograph Sister by Kali Spitzer. Spitzer explores the individual stories behind the MMIWQT crisis through portraiture and self-representation. She works in the medium of tintypes, a photographic process popular in the 1860s and 1870s, particularly with settlers in the Canadian and American West. Spitzer reclaims this process, adapting it to create images of contemporary Indigenous survivance.

Together, Every One and Sister encourage us to recognize and honour the stories embedded in the MMIWQT crisis, and to contemplate our own responsibilities and relationships to it.


December 10, 6:30 – 8 pm
Program Panel: Visual Art and the MMIWQT Crisis
Join us for a conversation with artists Cannupa Hanska Luger and Kali Spitzer who will discuss their work and the role of visual art in addressing the MMIWQT crisis.

About the Artists

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. This 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.

Kali Spitzer is Kaska Dena from Daylu (Lower Post, British Columbia) on her father’s side and Jewish from Transylvania, Romania on her mother’s side. She is from Yukon and grew up on the West Coast of British Columbia in Canada on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She is a trans disciplinary artist who mainly works with film – 35mm, 120, and wet plate collodion process using an 8×10 camera. Her work includes portraits, figure studies, and photographs of her people, ceremonies, and culture. Her work has been exhibited and recognized internationally. Spitzer recently received a Reveal Indigenous Art Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in Canada and was featured in the National Geographic and Photo Life magazine in 2018. At the age of 20, Spitzer moved back north to spend time with her Elders, and to learn how to hunt, fish, trap, tan moose and caribou hides, and bead. Spitzer documents these practices with a sense of urgency, highlighting their vital cultural significance. She focuses upon cultural revitalization through her art whether in the medium of photography, ceramics, tanning hides or hunting. She views all of these practices as art and as part of an exploration of self.

Presenting Sponsor

The Reitberger Family

Exhibition Supporters

David W. Binet
Al Pace & Kristin Morch
Gardiner Volunteer Committee

Programming Sponsors

Lorna Marsden

Image header: Cannupa Hanska Luger, Every One (detail), 2018, Over 4,000 ceramic clay beads created in collaboration with hundreds of communities across the U.S. and Canada. The image references and stands in solidarity with Sister (2016) by Kali Spitzer. Lazy Stitch exhibition organized by Cannupa Hanska Luger at the Ent Center for Contemporary Art, UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art, Colorado Springs, CO, 2018. Image courtesy of UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art.