Wednesday Lupypciw: Why Dad MMXI


March 2 – April 6, 2013
Opening on Saturday March 2nd, 5:30pm
Performance MAXX HQ in SD as part of Nuit Blanche à Montréal, from 8:00pm to 1:00am

Project Description

Starting with a series of confessions and ending with a heartfelt ritual, Why Dad MMXI explores the emotional and practical hardships of being an artist through the lens of a father/daughter relationship: “The video was inspired by an unsuccessful grant application of mine. I’d been super excited to make a project that required major funding and was crestfallen to find out that my fellow taxpayers and artist peers didn’t feel the same way. I felt like a part of me had died, and I moped around pathetically for weeks. While visiting my Father’s house during this time I noticed some marked similarities in our moping/coping behaviours. My Father’s art practice has been a sensitive topic in the past few years, and making this video allowed us to have an honest talk about what exactly his creative output and challenges are. I realized that most of the reasons why he would stop making art are totally the reasons why I would throw in the towel at any moment. Conversely, or rather most importantly, we discovered that the reasons to keep producing are shared too.”


Sometimes discussions are posited around “the intersection of art and craft” and I dislike that framing because making art is inherently about getting crafty, at least to me. I studied in the Textiles programme at the Alberta College of Art and Design, where I was taught by genuinely cosmick maker-thinkers rooted in 1970s DIY ethos, and that informs my practice to this day. I taught myself how to edit videos while I was in weaving class. When I make a video, I am always thinking of it in crafty terms: the texture of the projection, the way the scenes can be chopped and smoothed around the edges to fit together, negative spaces, opacity, all that sort of thing. Though I love crafts and think about them all of the time, I think I am a bit too impulsive to be considered an exceptional craftsperson. All of this is just an awkward way to say that I love Joyce Wieland! She has really hands on, concise artist statements about sewing, gardening, and sex.

I am easily overwhelmed by literature, but two books I really enjoyed around the time I made WHY DAD are: How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti, and Where Art Belongs by Chris Kraus.

My favourite movies made by artists are: Teenager Hamlet by Margaux Williamson, anything by Aleesa Cohene (because of their emotional weight), and this hilarious short with lots of fabric puppets called Dead Meat by Clark Ferguson.

I was thinking when I made WHY DAD that I should figure out how to make art without the use of grants or other funding. But then I realized that that was just sneaky neoliberal/pro-conservative rhetoric, guilt, and the pressure to be “useful” making its way into my thoughts! So I have opted to continue applying for a lot of grants (with super varying degrees of success), and I continue to offhandedly wonder what this system means for my practice. I do not know exactly who my audience is for this video, I think they are very Canadian on one hand but probably not Stephen Harper on the other.