To support the work of Indigenous women from across Turtle Island through art commissions that drive dialogue and mobilize action on the topic of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices (1) in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.
To ground art in accountability, value lived experience and build upon systems of support. To enact strategies of resurgence, resilience and refusal against the ongoing multiple articulations of power and structural colonial violence of nation states.
EFA Project Space presents the US debut of #callresponse, an artistic and curatorial collaboration organized by co-conspirators Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield, and Tania Willard. Led by Indigenous women, this project includes five locally based art commissions from across Canada and Brooklyn, NY, with invited guest respondents. The pairings include Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch of the Onaman Collective; Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff; Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle; Tania
Willard and Marcia Crosby; and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq. Following the initial commissions, a touring exhibition opened at grunt gallery in 2016, with representations of each project continuing to evolve with each geographic location to which it travels.
Shining a light on work that is both urgent and long-term, #callresponse is structured as a connective support system that strategically centers Indigenous women across multiple platforms. It moves between specificity of Indigenous nations, site, online space and the gallery. The project focuses on forms of performance, process and translation that incite dialogue and catalyze action across boundaries, between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. An online platform utilizing the hashtag #callresponse on social media connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges. As both a title and hashtag, #callresponse is informed by activist movements and campaigns such as #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter, #MMIW and #ReMatriate that utilize social media to build community and generate awareness, discussion, and action around important cultural, economic, environmental, political, and social justice issues facing marginalized communities. #callresponse aims to promote visibility, populate as many spaces, and media, with the hashtag, to broadcast the message and to catalyze bodies.
#callresponse is grounded in discussions about the importance of Indigenous Feminisms in grounding our lives and work in reciprocal relations, while critiquing and refusing the intersections of colonialism and patriarchy. This includes work with other humans, more-than-humans, and territory beyond narrow definitions of land as seen throughout the commissioned projects. #callresponse does not privilege re/conciliation as central to the work and lives of Indigenous women but rather reorients the vital presence of Indigenous women—their work and their embodied experiences—as central, as defining, and as pre-existing current appeals for a reconcilable future. The project acknowledges how artists are already working to complicate and unsettle, following Audra Simpson’s call that our “day to day lives be critically engaged” with an “ongoing, active attention to what is before us and a continuing care and vigilance over each other” (2). The artists’ works are grounded in the communities of significance through which they move, both urban and rural, online and in-person, where they live and work, as well as those places they traverse in their various roles and responsibilities (3).
(1) We take up the term "accomplices" as a politicized alternative to "ally,” following Jaskiran Dhillon’s “On Becoming an Accomplice.” Jaskiran Dhillon. “On Becoming an Accomplice.” Paper presented at Yale for the Accomplice & Art Practice - Indigenous Feminist Activism & Performance. Co-sponsored by the Yale MacMillan Center Committee on Canadian Studies, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS), and the Native American Cultural Center (NACC). Organized by T.L. Cowan, Visiting Bicentennial Lecturer of Canadian Studies. Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
(2) Audra Simpson. “Reconciliation and its Discontents: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow.: Lecture, University of Saskatchewan, March 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGI9HkzQsGg
(3) This text is, in part, adapted from an essay written by Tarah Hogue for MICE Magazine, entitled “#callresponse: presence across platforms.” To read the full-length essay, go to http://micemagazine.ca/issue-two/callresponse.
Artists: Christi Belcourt, IV Castellanos, Marcia Crosby, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff, Tanya Tagaq, Tania Willard and Laakkuluk Williamson- Bathory with local respondents Jennifer Kreisberg and Laura Ortman