Cannupa Hanska Luger Indigenous science fiction

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) presents Cannupa Hanska Luger: Sé’sh Shóto’sh Psí’sh, a solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Cannupa Hanska Luger from May 12–September 3, 2023. Sé’sh Shóto’sh Psí’sh presents new and recent regalia and video work from Luger’s speculative fiction series, Future Ancestral Technologies.

This ongoing project looks to customary practices in order to move culture forward. It actively incorporates science fiction theory, storytelling, Indigenous technologies, contemporary materials and the detritus of capitalism to present time-bending landscapes and to prototype new myths.

Science fiction has the power to shape collective thinking and serves as a vehicle to imagine the future on a global scale. Luger’s Future Ancestral Technologies is Indigenous science fiction. It is a methodology, a practice, a way of future dreaming, rooted in a continuum.

Through installation, video and land-based work, the series develops an ongoing narrative in which Indigenous people develop sustainable, migration-based technology to live nomadically in hyper-attunement to land and water. The project also prototypes designs for objects and their use and advances new materials and new modes of thinking within Indigenous methodologies. Moving sci-fi theory into practice, Future Ancestral Technologies conjures innovative life-based solutions for a highly adaptable lifestyle to live with the land, not off the land.

Presented in the exhibition Sé’sh Shóto’sh Psí’sh are two entry points into the world-building work of Future Ancestral Technologies. Muscle, Bone & Sinew embody the celebration of food, shelter, and tools—paying attention to gratitude for sustenance and reverence for the technology of more than human kinships—this work is a symbol of abundance. While Watȟéča looks at utilizing the detritus our time, making due with what is left, and meant to evoke and embody the blessings and lessons of the scavenger.

These two ideas make up a spectrum of possibilities to tell a full narrative of complexity in the act of survival.

Sé’sh Shóto’sh Psí’sh is presented as part of the MAH’s Kincentricity project, a three-year initiative launched in collaboration with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, that explores Indigenous culture.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, New Mexico-based artist Cannupa Hanska Luger is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota heritage.

Luger is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of a 2021 United States Artists Fellowship Award for Craft, and was named a 2021 GRIST Fixer. He is a 2020 Creative Capital Fellow, a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, and the recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s 2018 inaugural Burke Prize, among others.

ABOUT THE MAH

The MAH is a thriving community gathering place that offers a full slate of art and history exhibitions, visual and performing artworks, public festivals, education and outreach programs, and cultural celebrations in collaboration with its many partners.

It maintains a permanent collection of regionally significant art and artifacts, a research library, a historical archive, and historic sites including the Evergreen Cemetery, Octagon Building, and Davenport Jail. It is also home to Abbott Square, a vibrant public plaza on the museum’s doorstep that offers food, social events, and year-round creative happenings.

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