Abstract

This review essay addresses the complex significance of materiality in From Our Hands, a recent site-specific installation at New York City's 80WSE Gallery produced by Duane Linklater, an Omaskêko Cree artist from Northern Ontario. Situating Linklater's practice as an instance of indigenous institutional critique––an approach that re-functions postconceptual artistic strategies in accordance with the distinct aesthetic, political, and ontological concerns of colonized native populations––the essay examines the ways in which such work might disable longstanding assumptions at a moment when indigenous contemporary art is receiving increased attention. In addition to materiality, the text focuses on a group of qualities with similarly ambiguous meaning; these include durability, “leakiness,” and sincerity. Against the fetishizing or abstracting tendencies of much “new materialist” discourse, it argues that practices like Linklater's enable a more nuanced understanding of environmental racism, nonhuman or transhuman ontologies, and cultural economies organized around indigenous, non-capitalist forms of labor and kinship. Please see the full article at artmargins.com.

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