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


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, Aztec, and Taíno, among others. The seven artists in the exhibition, william cordova, Livia Corona Benjamín, Jorge González, Guadalupe Maravilla, Claudia Peña Salinas, 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.