Cannupa Hanksa Luger, born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, creates sculptures that address all of the people and cultures that, loosely paraphrased, “passed through that part of the United States at one point or another.” Cannupa will be creating a sculpture for a very special room inside of the gallery space for RACE AND REVOLUTION.
The title of this blog post is a taken from a poem by the Beat artist Bob Kaufman. “Creation is Perfect.” It’s also the opening line of CANNUPA HANSKA LUGER‘s artist statement. So what does this mean? Is “Creation” divine? Is it a call for artists to settle for nothing less than perfection? Or is it the act of creating that is perfect?
I am not going to answer these questions. Read Cannupa Hanska’s artist statement. While you’re on his website have a look at the many, many projects that he’s been a part of, the sculptures he’s made, the materials he uses. When you’ve gone through the fifteen-some-odd pages of shows and projects he’s been involved with, look up Bob Kaufman’s poem called “The Poet”, from which the above quotation is taken, and then come to your own conclusion.
What is creation? From where does it come, how is it made manifest in an individual? How does a material or medium take form and communicate a point of view? I’ve had months now to review the work of Cannupa Hanska, and these are the questions that come to my mind when I look at it. There is a quiet perfection in leaving these questions unanswered. There is a magic to looking at these pieces and wondering what creation means to the artist.
Because Hanska’s work explores these myriad cultures and histories that now embody the Western United States, his voice in this exhibition becomes a metaphor for this country’s history. Please help make this sculpture – and this public art show – a possibility by making a CONTRIBUTION to its crowdfunding page.