Kira Dominguez-Hultgren is a California, Utah, and Minnesota based writer and textile artist. In her third year at California College of the Arts, Dominguez Hultgren is earning a dual-degree MFA/MA in Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies. She studied French postcolonial theory and literature at Princeton University (B.A. Comparative Literature, 2003), and performance and fine arts in Río Negro, Argentina. From 2010-2012, she toured with an international women’s storytelling troupe, and was a featured teller at the Epuyén Regional Festival in Patagonia. While in Patagonia, she apprenticed with master weaver Mary Coronado, where Dominguez-Hultgren studied the process and history of indigenous warp-faced weaving of Mallín Ahogado on a Mapuche vertical post loom.
Today, Dominguez-Hultgren combines her interests in postcolonial theory, oral storytelling, and weaving, as she seeks to decolonialize the family stories of racial identity she grew up hearing and repeating.
Serape, chief blanket, or flag? While weaving, I shred and cling to my family histories of approximate assimilation, migration, and racialized redefinitions. These histories – marked through symbols like the U.S., United Farm Workers, and Blue Lives Matter flags; through photographs from 19th century trading post catalogues and the Smithsonian’s Anthropological Archive; and through Peet’s Coffee logos – become scaffolding on which I hang myself and my ancestors. Our fragmented bodies – their clothing, my hair – are woven and buried into an exquisite corpse of coaxial cables, screenshots, sari silk, and gym rope. Tensioned generations on display: warped, striped.
Kira Dominguez Hultgren’s weavings are motivated by her ancestral and ongoing negotiations of approximate assimilation, synthetic identities, and the excesses that stride beyond categorizations. Chicanx, Punjabi, Hawaiian, Black, White: tensioned generations on display, warped and striped. Parading indigeneity in handspun weft winding through strands of polyurethane globalization: seducing, choking, colliding, caressing, changing.
What are you? I am a weaver of ends, of each generational end. I am a promiscuity of culture in rayon and knit caught in the warp of a backstrap loom, picking out the pattern in a Mapuche poncho. But are these my stories to tell?
I am Hollywood Hawaiian. My work is a tribute to my grandmother Lawhaii (Kikume) Johal. That’s Hawaii with an L. She grew up believing her family was native Hawaiian. Her uncle was Chief Mehevi, Chief Rakos, the authenticating bodily presence of the savage and of the exotic in the jungle movies of the 1920s-50s.
What are you? Check the box. Are you human? Type the code. The “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” (CAPTCHA) is the puzzle that compels me to choose as I navigate the web. Prove you’re not a robot. But there are too many seams, too many constructed cultural affiliations sutured together.
This is the performance of the unassimilated without homeland: please check one box only. Mark yourself as Other.
MFA Fine Arts and MA Visual and Critical Studies (anticipated), California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Mapuche Textile Arts Apprenticeship, Ruca Mallín, Río Negro Province, Argentina
BA, Comparative Literature, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Teaching/Visiting Artist Lectures
Artist Lecture, “Material Rhetoric,” Craft Theory I, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
TA, California College of the Arts, Jacquard Weaving: Zeros and Ones, San Francisco, CA
TA, California College of the Arts, Contemporary Art History and Theory (Graduate Survey), San Francisco, CA
Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions
(Anticipated) Kaur-less (Solo Exhibition), San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, San Jose, CA
Stitching and Weaving in the Digital Age, curated by Christine Duval, Currents 826, Santa Fe, NM
My Mother’s Maiden Name, curated by Tanya Gayer, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
Trap, Trauma, Transformation, curated by Rohan DaCosta, Greenlining Institute, Oakland, CA
O! ‘darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,’ As some one somewhere sings about the sky, -Lord Byron, Don Juan, 4.110, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Weaver at Ends (Solo Exhibition and Workshop), Gensler San Francisco, CA
Stitching and Weaving in the Digital Age, Résidence de France, San Francisco, CA
All College Honors Award Exhibition, Hubbell Street Galleries, San Francisco, CA
Wingspan (Solo Exhibition), Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
MFA Exhibition I, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA
This Message Has No Content, Embark Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Caught in the Fray,College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Awards Exhibition,SOMArts, San Francisco, CA
TEXT TALES: Narrativity in Cloth & Thread,College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
The Immediate Archive,College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
Roots of the Maypole (Solo Exhibition), Codornices Park, Berkeley, CA, USA
Iconography of Loss, 24-hour outdoor installation (Solo Exhibition), Victoria, MN, USA
Duendes y Hadas de Fieltro, Antu Werken, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina
La Teoria del Color, Escuela Micael, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina
Lado Derecho, Centro Cultural, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
Selected Stage and Radio Storytelling Performances
Epuyén Regional Festival, Epuyén, RN, Argentina
Salon Harmos, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
Centro Cultural Eduardo Galeano, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
Cuentos Con Vos y Con Voz, La Goga Radio, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
Centro Cultural, Lago Puelo, RN, Argentina
Conference Papers and Panels
“Hawaii with an L: How Black and White Became Hawaiian in John Ford’s The Hurricane.” Paper presented at the Identities, Difference, and Power Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Artists/Students of Color Experience in Higher Arts Education panel speaker, Murphy & Cadogan Equity in Arts Education Summit, SOMArts Cultrual Center, San Francisco, CA
Honors and Awards
Dennis Leon and Christin Nelson Scholarship
CCA Curators Award
All College Honors 2018 Graduat
Edwin Anthony and Adalaine Boudreaux Cadogan Scholarship, San Francisco, CA
Toni A. Lowenthal Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Textiles, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2016 Toni A. Lowenthal Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Textiles, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA