Native Art Department International
Double Gazebo (Markham)

Markham Public Art

June 26–November 28, 2021
November 17, 2021
Walk East for Sunrise Walk West for Sunset: July 1, 2021–January 9, 2022, five-part online activations

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
Outdoor courtyard
216 Main St Unionville
Markham ON L3R 2H1
Canada

yourvoicemarkham.ca

Created by Native Art Department International (NADI)Double Gazebo (Markham) is a temporary public artwork commissioned by the City of Markham’s Public Art Program and presented in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.

Double Gazebo comprises two intersected structures modeled on a traditional gazebo. Eleven feet in height, the installation offers partial shelter. Simultaneously, it acts as a platform for shared experiences, prompting an awareness that our bodies exist in and occupy space. It is important to note that the paired structures are understood to be intersected, not combined or conjoined—one cannot alter or remove one part without destroying the other.

The artwork is intended to reflect broader debates regarding social spaces of exchange, interaction, and land use. Using social space as a point of departure, Double Gazebo expands on the concept by constructing something that operates both as inside and outside, to foster an interaction between the concept of space and occupation.

A gazebo can be considered a rather conservative structure, but it is a familiar type, prevalent in the suburban community where Double Gazebo (Markham) is installed. Double Gazebo intentionally disregards colonial definitions of what Indigenous art and design elements should look like. Instead, it calls into question the concept of "categorized aesthetic" in terms of both expression and self-representation.

Double Gazebo has two variants: Double Gazebo (Markham), commissioned by the City of Markham’s Public Art Program and located in the outdoor courtyard of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, on view now through November 28, 2021; and, Double Gazebo (MOCA), installed indoors, as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto’s inaugural triennial survey exhibition, Greater Toronto Art 2021, on view from September 29, 2021 through January 9, 2022.

In parallel with the physical installation, NADI has programmed a series of five-part online activations titled Walk East for Sunrise Walk West for Sunset, all available on the project website:

–With AR (Markham) supported by ar-works
–With Artists by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan of NADI
–With Movement by Deanne Hupfield, Pow Wow Dancer
–With Sound by Mark V. Campbell/DJ Grumps
–With Star Knowledge, NADI in conversation with Dr. Hilding Neilson, Astronomer

Designed for and informed by Double Gazebo, the intention of Walk East for Sunrise Walk West for Sunset is multifold. Its online format addresses the related issues of social distancing and public art at this special time. Practically and metaphorically, the series builds a conceptual common ground that connects the installation’s two variants, hosted at two locations: Double Gazebo (Markham) and Double Gazebo (MOCA). Conceived to activate various architectural potentials of the installation—an open-ended platform for observation, reflection, experimentation, and action—through the contributions by a network of local collaborators, the program highlights the mandate of NADI’s operation—kinship, relationality, and non-competition.  

Native Art Department International (NADI) is a collaborative long-term project created and administered by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan. It focuses on communications platforms and art-world systems of support while at the same time functioning as emancipation from essentialism and identity-based artwork. NADI seeks to circumvent easy categorization by comprising a diverse range of undertakings—such as, curated exhibitions, video screenings, panel talks, collective art making, and an online presence. However, all activities contain an undercurrent of positive progress through cooperation and non-competition.

Double Gazebo (Markham) was conceived as part of Becoming Public Art: Working Models & Case Studies for Art in Public, a virtual public art summit that took place in the fall of 2020 and was co-curated by Markham’s Public Art Curator, Yan Wu, and Rebecca Carbin, Principal of ART+PUBLIC UnLtd. It is presented in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. The program of Walk East for Sunrise Walk West for Sunset is a co-production between Markham Public Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Video documentations of the program are made by Markham and Shanghai based artist, Liang Yue.