Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Building the Indigenous Present
July 2018–

A woman in a leopard suit scaling a wall

Clarissa Tossin, Ch’u Mayaa, 2017, production still. Choreography/Performer: Crystal Sepúlveda; Cinematography: Jeremy Glaholt. Originally commissioned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for the exhibition Condemned to be Modern as part of Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Courtesy the artist

Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay gives center stage to contemporary art practices that highlight indigenous thinking around the built environment. The three Quechuan words—the indigenous language most spoken in the Americas—pacha (time, space, nature, world), llaqta (place, country, community), and wasichay (to build) each point to a decolonial approach of preserving and foregrounding indigenous concepts that transcend the English term architecture. Rather than upholding Western modernist architecture as a marker of development in the Americas, the artworks in this exhibition explore the conceptual legacies inherited from, and also still alive in, indigenous groups that include the Inca, Quechua, Maya, and Arawak, among others. Artists such as William Cordova, Jorge González, Ronny Quevedo, and Clarissa Tossin investigate the complex relationship that indigenous and vernacular notions of construction, land, space, and cosmology have had in the history of modern and contemporary art and architecture in the Americas.

This exhibition is organized by Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator, with Alana Hernandez, curatorial project assistant.

Generous support for Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Building the Indigenous Present is provided by Jackson Tang as part of the Whitney’s emerging artists series.