Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective composed of Cristóbal Martínez (born in New Mexico) and Kade L. Twist (born in California). Postcommodity creates site-specific installations, interventions, videos, and sound works, utilizing the members’ shared Indigenous lens to reveal the incongruent histories embedded in our modern-day institutions, systems, and beliefs. The group often works closely with local communities to create poetic installations that reimagine sites of conflict as places of curiosity that foreground Indigenous culture.
Postcommodity was founded in 2007 by Twist, Steve Yazzie, and Nathan Young and acknowledges the important contributions of its previous collaborators, including Yazzie (2007–2010), Young (2007–2015), and Raven Chacon (2009–2018). The collective focuses on centering Indigenous perspectives and working in response to the land where their projects take place. For the 2009 installation, Do You Remember When?, the artists removed a square slab of the floor from the Arizona State University Art Museum, to reveal the tribal ground upon which the institution was built. Accompanied by a recording of a Pee Posh social-dance song, the installation also highlighted the collective’s use of sound, an important facet of its work. The group’s seminal land-art installation Repellent Fence (2015) placed enormous scare-eye balloons across the U.S.-Mexico border, visually suturing together the Indigenous lands that were previously a single territory. More recently, for the work With Each Incentive (2019), Postcommodity installed intentionally unfinished columns of cinder block and steel rebar on the terrace of the Art Institute of Chicago. This intervention both offered an ode to the signature residential castillos of Central and South America and contemplated Chicago’s future landscape—architectural, social, and political—during the city’s unprecedented migration of peoples from Latin America.
Postcommodity has received the Fine Prize in support of the Carnegie International (2018), Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship (2018), and Creative Capital Visual Artist Award (2012), among other honors. It has had major solo exhibitions at LAXART, Los Angeles, California (2020); the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (2019–2020); San Francisco Art Institute, California (2019); Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2013); Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2010); among many others. The collective’s work has been included in group exhibitions at the Honolulu Biennial, Hawaii (2019); Desert X, Coachella Valley, California (2019); Carnegie International, 57th Edition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2018); Whitney Biennial, New York (2017); Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece (2017); Toronto International Film Festival, Canada (2017); 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012); Biennial of Sound and Image, Mechelen, Belgium (2011); and many more.
Executive director and chief curator Tina Kukielski delivers a dispatch of Art21’s latest on-goings.