Massive changes have taken place in the past decade about how Americans see American Indians, in pop culture and museums and political discourse. How are indigenous artists responding to these new realities, which include stunning victories and crushing defeats in a time that delivers a relentless barrage of both hope and despair? Smith will draw on his experiences as an activist, critic, and art curator to make sense of the contemporary landscape of indigenous art in the United States, and the ways it echoes and differs from the work of artists in Aotearoa.

Paul Chaat Smith is a Comanche author, essayist, and curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. His exhibitions include Americans, James Luna’s Emendatio, Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian, and Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort. He’s the author (with Robert Warrior) of Like a Hurricane: the Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (1996), and Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong (2009). Although he spends most of his time crafting game-changing exhibitions and texts, he also enjoys reading obsessively about the early days of the Soviet space program, watching massive amounts of televised sports, and writing about himself in the third person.

Paul Chaat Smith will also be speaking in Ōtautahi Christchurch on Wednesday 29 March - see here for details and in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on Thursday 30 March - see here for details.

Paul Chaat Smith's visit is hosted by Art History at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery in partnership with the City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi and the U.S. Embassy New Zealand and Art in Embassies, U.S. Department of State.


  • Free


  • Mon 27 Mar


  • 3:00 pm — 4:30 pm

City Gallery Wellinton Te Whare Toi

  • Civic Square, 101 Wakefield Street
  • Wellington 6140