– Summer 2015

Events, Works, Exhibitions

Reimagining Ceremonies: A Conversation with Postcommodity

Bill Kelley, Jr

Postcommodity, P’oe iwe naví ûnp’oe dînmuu (My Blood
Is in the Water), 2010, mixed-media installation (mule deer taxidermy,
wood poles, water, amplifier and drum). Courtesy the artists

Postcommodity are a collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist and Nathan Young, four artists based in different cities throughout New Mexico and Arizona. Formed in 2007, the group exhibit regularly in the US as well as abroad, and run an experimental art space, Spirit Abuse, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Before agreeing to have this published conversation, I proposed
to have one off the record to discuss our mutual interests in art and the discourses around indigeneity, as well as our distinct experiences. For my part, I have a back- ground in colonial studies, and have recently been engaged in community-based projects in Latin America, particularly around the Andean region. In speaking with Postcommodity, I was immediately reminded that the critical frames and theoretical language that are being exercised within circles of indigenous artists and cultural workers in one part of the hemisphere are no indication of those employed by native peoples in another. Much history is shared, but the artistic freedom and self-determination that are so often taken for granted carry central meaning in the work of Postcommodity. They are not only concerned with subverting stereotypes, 
but also with being the artists they want
to be, despite economic and social pressures to do otherwise — a seemingly

  1. See Gerald McMaster, guest essay for the exhibition ‘It Wasn’t The Dream of Golden Cities’ (Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2 August 2010–2 January 2011, curated by Ryan Rice), available at www.iaia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gerald-McMaster-Guest-Essayist.pdf (last accessed on 15 March 2015).

  2. See Robert J. Miller, Reservation ‘Capitalism’: Economic Development in Indian Country, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2012.