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South By North Is Also North By South - 2021.
250-litre steel barrels.
Commissioned by Remai Modern Museum,
Installation views: Time Holds All The Answers
Remai Modern Museum, Saskatoon, SK.
Photos by Blaine Campbell, Courtesy Remai Modern Museum.

South By North Is Also North By South reflects on shared Indigneous structures, such as pyramids and mounds, which are found throughout the Western Hemisphere. Postcommodity see these common forms as an expression of the migration of knowledge by Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Postcommodity’s pyramid is composed of barrels used to contain hazardous materials, such as nuclear waste. This stacked formation is similar to how such barrels are commonly stored, in warehouses or below ground. Throughout the Americas, Indigenous communities are disproportionatly impacted by resource extraction and materials storage, which often take place on or in close proximity to Indigenous territories.

The barrels in Postcommodity’s pyramid are painted according to the hazardous material labelling system. Each colour represents a threat: blue (dangerous), red (flammable), black (corrosive), white (poisonous), and yellow (radioactive). These colours also correspond to Indigenous medicine colours. These dual meanings - one harmful, one healing - act as a complex and conflicting metaphor for the Americas. Postcommodity have arranged the barrels in a pattern that references designs found in Indigenous beadwork and textiles throughout the Western Hemisphere. The pyramid extends beyond the boundaries of the gallery, demonstrating the failure of containment.