Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art
Jul 13–Sep 30, 2018

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Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art investigates contemporary art practices that preserve and foreground Indigenous American notions of the built environment and natural world. The three words in the exhibition’s title are Quechua, the Indigenous language most spoken in the Americas. Each holds more than one meaning: pacha denotes universe, time, space, nature, or world; llaqta signifies place, country, community, or town; and wasichay means to build or to construct a house. Influenced by the richness of these concepts, the artworks explore the conceptual frameworks inherited from, and also still alive in, Indigenous groups in Mexico and South America that include the Quechua, Aymara, Maya, Aztec, and Taíno, among others. 

The show features the work of seven emerging Latinx artists based in the United States and Puerto Rico: william cordova, Livia Corona Benjamín, Jorge González, Guadalupe Maravilla, Claudia Peña Salinas, Ronny Quevedo, and Clarissa Tossin. Their works 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.

Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art is part of the Whitney’s emerging artists program, sponsored by

Significant support for this exhibition is also provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the Whitney’s National Committee.

Additional support is provided by AMEXCID with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, the Garcia Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Curatorial research and travel were funded by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.


Playlist

Each artist featured in this exhibition has chosen several songs that inspire them and their artistic practice. As a whole, the playlist is demonstrative of the richness and diverse cultural backgrounds that each of the seven Latinx artists bring forth.



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Essays

A woman in a leopard suit scaling a wall

By Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator

Two years before I was born, the Whitney Museum of American Art had already organized an exhibition exploring ideas central to those in Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art. Allow me to explain.

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A woman in a leopard suit scaling a wall

Por Marcela Guerrero, curadora asistente

Dos años antes de que yo naciera, el Whitney Museum of American Art ya había organizado una exposición en la que se exploraban ideas que son fundamentales en Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Espacio indígena, arquitectura moderna, arte nuevo. Permítanme explicarles.

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Audio Guide

“The cultures that these artists are looking towards are not pre-Columbian, in the strict sense of the word, in terms that they're not frozen in time. They're not dead cultures, they're still very much alive.”
—Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator

Hear from the exhibition’s artists and curator about selection works from the exhibition.