Deanne & John Hupfield

Deanne Hupfield is Anishnawbe from Temagami First Nation, Ontario, Canada. A descendant of Indian Residential School survivors, Deanne has dedicated her life to learning and preserving her culture. She learned to dance from a small age and has spent her life passing on related teachings to her community. She has taught dance for the past 15 years, including weekend classes at The Native Canadian Center of Toronto, and currently teaches virtual regalia making courses online through her website. As an educator she actively teaches the history of Canadian policy that affects Indigenous people. Deanne was Ironwoman, Wiki Pow Wow 2015.

John Hupfield¬†Waaseyaabin is Anishinaabe from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Canada. He is a Phd Candidate in Education at York University, living and working in Toronto where he is a recognized dancer and active community member. He attended powwows his entire life but only started grass dancing in his mid-20s. He is a regular invited and head dancer at many First Nations’ and community powwows throughout Ontario. His dancing can be seen in the music video for Indian City, 2016, by A Tribe Called Red; The One Who Keeps on Giving, 2017, double channel video by Maria Hupfield; and Miigis, 2018, a production fusing contemporary Indigenous dance with athleticism by Red Sky Performance, Toronto.

Bureau of Aesthetics: Under Activation


This program is an accompaniment to NADI’s exhibition, Native Art Department International: Bureau of Aesthetics, at Mercer Union from March 14‚ÄďOctober 31, 2020. 

Abigail Lim
Claudia Edwards
Deanne Hupfield
John Hupfield
Louise Liliefeldt
Lutan Lui
Nathan Roy

In the final weeks of Native Art Department International: Bureau of Aesthetics, artists Native Art Department International (NADI) and FADO Performance Art Centre are facilitating a series of performance (and other) interventions in the space of NADI’s exhibition at Mercer Union.

Created by participants working in a variety of disciplines including performance, dance, music and martial arts, these activations demonstrate NADI’s commitment to kinship and their desire to build solidarity through forms of collaboration that promote non-competition. Each performance is privately executed and the documentation of each gesture will live on the websites of [FADO Site] and [Mercer Union Site]. This approach speaks to the adaptive methodologies of artists and institutions alike to consider how the pandemic environment impacts the practice and presentation of performance art. Here, the perennially debated theories concerning liveness dissolve for a timely discussion around intimacy, kinship and support; tenets that are fully embodied within the ethos and history of performance work.

Mercer Union is a non-profit, artist-centred space in Toronto that was founded by twelve artists in 1979. The organization has a unique track record of presenting innovative exhibitions and programs with Canadian and international artists in formative and established stages of their careers. Mercer Union is dedicated to supporting the production of new and experimental work, assisting artists in realizing pivotal projects. Mercer Union has the will and flexibility to take on ambitious projects and fosters an intimate and supportive space for artists to develop and take risks with their work.

© Louise Liliefeldt & NADI, 2020. Photo Louise Liliefeldt.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer