Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger, the first exhibition to feature together the work of these two leading Indigenous contemporary artists whose processes focus on collaborative artmaking, opened this September at the Michael C. Carlos Museum
of Emory University.
Exploring the collective process of creation, Each/Other is comprised of over two dozen mixed-media sculptures, wall hangings, and large-scale installation works by Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger, along with a new monumental artist-guided community artwork. While each artists practice is rooted in collaboration, they have never before worked together or been exhibited alongside one another in a way that allows audiences to see both the similarities and contrasts in their work.
Marie Watt, who resides in Portland, Oregon, is a citizen of the Seneca Nation and has German-Scots ancestry. Cannupa Hanska Luger, who is based in New Mexico, is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) of Fort Berthold and has Lakota and European ancestry.
This exhibition was organized by the Denver Art Museum, where it was curated by John Lukavic, the museums Andrew J. Mellon Curator of Native Arts. It opened to the public at the Carlos Museum on September 25. Emory Art History professor and curator Megan E. ONeil is the exhibitions curator at the Carlos Museum, the second venue on the exhibitions tour of the United States. The Carlos Museum has a unique connection to this exhibition; Emory students and faculty as well as Carlos Museum docents, patrons, and employees contributed to the collaborative creation of three of the pieces that are on display. Members of the Emory and larger Atlanta communities created embroidered bandanas that were used to create the new, artist-guided community artwork, Each/Other, a collaborative project of both Watt and Luger, which can be seen in the attached image. Emory students also created clay beads that became part of the 4,000 total beads in Every One, a piece by Cannupa Hanska Luger focusing on missing and murdered Indigenous persons.
Finally, people in the Emory community gave blankets and accompanying stories for Marie Watts new monumental sculpture in her Blanket Stories series, made specifically for this exhibition.
The artists ask visitors to the exhibition to look beyond the idea of art as a noun and instead consider the collaborative processes of making and search for signs of the different hands that created the artworks. They encourage audiences to think about the people who sewed or formed beads or shared stories.