Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Center for Historical Reenactments
Events, Works, Exhibitions
Reimagining Ceremonies: A Conversation with Postcommodity
Bill Kelley, Jr
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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
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). ↑
See Robert J. Miller, Reservation ‘Capitalism’: Economic Development in Indian Country, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2012. ↑