Jul 13 2024


Workshop | How to Build Cannupa Hanska Luger’s Mirror Shield

Sat | 2PM


In September, SI will present Energies, a group exhibition exploring energy, sustainability and community, which will include artist Cannupa Hanska Luger. In advance of this show, we are pleased to host a workshop that will guide participants through building one of Luger’s Mirror Shields. These mirrored shields will be displayed throughout SI’s building and partner organizations as part of the exhibition.

The Mirror Shield Project was initiated in 2016 in support of the Water Protectors standing up against the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock, ND. Through a tutorial video that went viral on social media, Cannupa Hanska Luger invited people to create mirrored shields that would be used in onsite frontline actions. In only a few short weeks, over a thousand shields were received from across the nation and became central to the Protector’s visual language and the events that ensued. The Mirror Shield Project has since been formatted and used in various resistance movements across the world.

Led by teaching artist Gabriela López Dena, the event will begin with a screening of Luger’s tutorial video, which can be viewed here. The instructions for building the mirrored shields can also be accessed here.

Space is limited so kindly RSVP by contacting rsvp@swissinstitute.net.

Cannupa Hanska Luger is a New Mexico based multidisciplinary artist creating monumental installations, sculpture and performance to communicate urgent stories of 21st Century Indigeneity. Born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, Luger is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota. Luger’s bold visual storytelling presents new ways of seeing our collective humanity while foregrounding an Indigenous worldview. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including for the 81st Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;  14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China; National Gallery of Art, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Gardiner Museum, Toronto; and National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia. Luger has been awarded fellowships from Guggenheim, United States Artists, Creative Capital, Smithsonian and Joan Mitchell Foundation, among others.
Gabriela López Dena works across curation and social practice to address the relations between the built environment and its social dynamics. Based in Brooklyn, she is the Associate Curator of Public Practice at Public Art Fund, where she works closely with artists to develop exhibitions, programs, and community engagement initiatives in public spaces. López Dena is also a teaching artist at Swiss Institute/Contemporary Art and a member of the volunteer-run project Interference Archive. She has collaborated with institutions such as the International Studio & Curatorial Program, Cooper Hewitt, the Museum of Arts and Design, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. In Mexico City, where she is originally from, López Dena trained as an architect and founded DENA—a transdisciplinary practice to design and build spaces, develop films, and collaborate with artists on architectural-scale installations. She also holds a master’s degree from Parsons School of Design.
Image: Cannupa Hanska Luger, Mirror Shield Project, 2016 – present. Image is of a site Specific performance organized by Luger in collaboration with Rory Wakemup on November 18, 2016 at Oceti Sakowin Camp, Standing Rock, North Dakota. Courtesy the artist.