Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers – Dr. Gerald McMaster, OCADU and Remai Modern collaborate on major exhibition and publication.
Publication at a Glance
Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University and Dr. Gerald McMaster are proud to present a major book project in collaboration with Remai Modern museum - Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers. This landmark publication features groundbreaking contributions by Gerald McMaster, Roberto Bedoya, Floyd Favel, Bill Kelley Jr., and Elise Y. Chagas. Building on and published in association with Postcommodity’s major solo exhibition at Remai Modern, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers the publication is an important and timely collaboration between Remai Modern, Postcommodity and Otami- Creative Director Sébastien Aubin that grounds the projection of Indigenous Knowledge Systems within the publication design. As a significant contribution to discourse, Dr. McMaster’s essay proceeds through a series of narrative devices to reimagine the ways in which Postcommodity’s practice can be understood in the contexts of today.
“By connecting Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination to the broader sphere of public institutions, Postcommodity use art as a wedge to inject Indigenous knowledge and expand common points of reference beyond the colonial worldview. Through their practice of artmaking, binary ways of thinking, such as “us versus them,” can be rendered absurd, leaving the possibility for syncretic modalities to take their place. The results are reconfigured sites primed for reimagined ceremonial possibilities”
(Dr. Gerald McMaster, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers, 46)
“During our brief visit, I was reminded of all of those who had come before us. They had comported themselves with the knowledge that they were not the first to be there, nor would they be the last; that those who had come before them were not behind, but, in fact, were in front of them, ahead of them, and that one day they too would be the future of those following the very same trail of primordial crumbs. With those behind them in mind, generations of our ancestors had placed stone after stone with intention, not only to say, “We are grateful for this place,” but to say, “All willing, you will also find your way to receive her offerings.” With us in mind they collectively, cumulatively, and gently marked a windswept hilltop to draw us to a vista, to point the way, to transfer their knowledge, and to be remembered remembering us—all in a spiral of time and space that defies any foolish notions of linearity.”
(Dr. Gerald McMaster, Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers, 84)
Publication is available for purchase through Remai Modern.
Exhibition at a Glance
Curated by Dr. Gerald McMaster and hosted by Remai Modern in Saskatoon from September 18, 2021 to January 23, 2022, Time Holds All the Answers was Postcommodity’s most significant museum exhibition to date. In addition to two of Remai Modern’s largest gallery spaces, works were featured throughout the building. With a selection of new pieces created for the occasion, the exhibition included architecturally-scaled sculpture and immersive multimedia installations that incorporate sound and text. The exhibition touched on subjects including resource extraction and land use, toxicity and containment, intersections of the global market with human elders, translation across Indigenous and colonial languages, and the mythologies of modern art and architecture.
Postcommodity deploy a creative methodology of hacking, intentionally breaking predetermined products or structures in order to modify their original use and inspire alternative outcomes. In practice, hacking undoes, reimagines and resets. How can this be accomplished? Using art as a wedge, Postcommodity inject Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the museum space to expand common points of reference. In their work, the artists transform the museum into a site where their concept of re-imagined ceremony takes shape. While ceremony is generally associated with a religious or spiritual gathering that celebrates a particular event, Postcommodity’s approach creates an immersive narrative environment throughout the museum, welcoming visitors into a realm of symbolic exchange that enacts respect, responsibility and reciprocity.
Curator and Author
Gerald McMaster is a leading voice nationally and internationally, with over 30 years of experience in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics. He is Plains Cree from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation and a member of the Siksika Nation. He served as the Canadian Commissioner for the 1995 Venice Biennale, Artistic Director of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney; and Curator for the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. McMaster has served as Adjunct Curator for Remai Modern since 2018. He is a Tier 1 Canadian Research Chair and Director of Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University in Toronto.
Exhibition | Artists
Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective, currently comprised of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. They create works of art that personify a shared Indigenous lens and voice, examining aspects of 21st-century life to inspire a uniquely Indigenous futurism. Using provocation as a tool, they spark constructive conversations that challenge the social, political and economic processes that destabilize communities and geographies.
Cristóbal Martínez is a Mestizo artist, scholar and Chair of the Art and Technology Program at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2003 he co-founded the artist-hacker performance ensemble Radio Healer, and in 2009 he began working as a member of Postcommodity. In 2018 he co-created, with post-Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, the experimental electronic music duet Red Culebra. Martínez has dedicated his life and career to interdisciplinary collaboration in contemporary art.
Kade L. Twist is a member of the Cherokee Nation and grew up in Bakersfield, California, home to one of the largest Cherokee communities in the U.S. Twist is a co-founding member of Postcommodity, and a professor in Art + Social Practice at Otis College of Art, Los Angeles. In addition to his art practice, Twist works as a public affairs consultant specializing in American Indian health care, technology and community development.
Publication | Contributing Authors
Roberto Bedoya is Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland. Bedoya is also a poet, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, and an art consultant, with projects for Creative Capital Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Institute.
Floyd Favel is a cultural theorist, writer and theatre director. Favel is the curator of the Chief Poundmaker Museum and director of Miyawata Culture Inc., an Indigenous performance festival held yearly on Poundmaker Cree Nation. He has studied theatre in Denmark and Italy and has traveled worldwide in his research on Indigenous Performance
Elise Y. Chagas is a Ph.D. candidate studying modern and contemporary art at Princeton University. She is a 2021-2022 Mellon-Marron Research Consortium Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Bill Kelley Jr. is an educator, curator and writer based in Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of California at San Diego and his current research focuses on collaborative and collective art practices in the Americas. He holds the position of Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino art history at California State University Bakersfield.
Publication | Designer
Sébastien Aubin is a freelance graphic artist currently based in Montréal and a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. He has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has done publications for numerous artists, organizations, and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture.
Supporting Team | Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University
Michael Rattray is a Toronto-based creative professional with experience in a wide variety of mediums of expression. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the direction of Dr. McMaster at Wapatah, he acted as the Executive Editor and provided oversight for the editorial, design, and publication process for Postcommodity: Time Holds All the Answers. At OCAD University, he also contributed to projects such as the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art and Arctic / Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity – a major publication in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Ryerson Image Centre, for which he managed the publication timeline and editorial process.
Natalja Chestopalova is a senior researcher and project manager at Wapatah Centre, OCAD University. Her work focuses on immersive installations and new media, animation of museum collections, and blockchain solutions for art and site-responsive projects. At Wapatah, Natalja is providing project management oversight for an array of publications, conferences, and virtual educational projects. These include: Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series, HotDocs Series Beauty and Resilience: Indigenous Art in Canada, Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition and major publication, and the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art - a custom digital tool for mobilizing artwork and facilitating Indigenous access and contributions to Indigenous art in museum and gallery collections around the world.
Brittany Pitseolak Bergin is a research assistant at Wapatah Centre, OCAD University. Raised in Southern Ontario, her family is from Kinngait, Cape Dorset. Inspired by the artists in her family and community, including her great-grandmother and namesake Pitseolak Ashoona, Brittany’s focus at Wapatah is centred in community engagement as she continues to support major projects and outreach initiatives. Her work has been integral to the success of projects such as the Virtual Platform for Indigenous Art, Arctic/Amazon Symposium, Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition and publication, and Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series. Her most recent conferences include the Frontend Conference (Munich) and Inuit Studies Conference (Montreal).
Panya Clark Espinal is a multi-media installation artist whose practice investigates the mechanisms of cultural representation and, through site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, explores questions of perception, reproduction, collection, and display. Her CCP thesis titled Between Stories: The Agency of Story and Living Ways was developed while working alongside Elín Agla, a Vernacular Culture Farmer from Árneshreppur County, Iceland. As a senior research assistant at Wapatah, Panya has contributed to writing the Bill Reid publication for the Art Canada Institute and The Entangled Gaze project.
Alessia Pignotti is a conceptual, multimedia artist and graphic designer whose most recent artistic practice explores the notion of the creative instinct. She holds a Masters of Art from OCAD University in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories program, and received an Honours Bachelor of Arts (2017) from the University of Toronto in a joint program with Sheridan College. As a research assistant at Wapatah, Alessia supported a number of projects including the Bill Reid publication project for the Art Canada Institute.