top of page

Indigenous & Modernity

Ronny Quevedo, ULAMA-ULE-ALLEY OOP, 2017. Enamel, silver leaf, vinyl and graphite pencil on Mylar, 42 × 84 in. (106.7 × 213.4 cm). Collection of the artist. Photograph by Argenis Apolinario. Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

'Ancient Space, Modern Architecture, and Contemporary Art

Indigenous Architecture in the Americas'


'Perhaps one of the first things we can do to decolonize ourselves is to rid ourselves of the modern/traditional binary. Time and again, we judge Indigenous people and the cultures that we produce through the false lens of “modern/traditional.” We must ask ourselves important questions: what does it mean to be traditional? Who gets to determine what traditional is or is not? And what does it mean to be modern and live in modern times? Can we live, and continue creating new meanings of what it means to be Indigenous?

Yes, of course we can! Surely prior to European colonization our ancestors learned from other Indigenous communities that informed how they viewed themselves in relation to others and land. I bet it also informed their cultural practices too – they likely embraced certain parts of other cultures, tried some things out and, if it didn’t work for them, they discarded it. Why is it that we can’t do the same thing?' by kyle t. mays.



Shuvinai Ashoona, Untitled (50 Years Co-op), 2009, coloured pencil and black felt pen on wove paper, 76.5 x 158 cm irregular. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Gift of Robert Kardosh, Vancouver, 2011 © Shuvinai Ashoona, Courtesy of Dorset Fine Arts. Photo: NGC



bottom of page