Kira Dominguez Hultgren

Kira Dominguez Hultgren is a California-based textile artist. She studied French postcolonial theory and literature at Princeton University, and performance and fine arts in Río Negro, Argentina. 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. In 2019, Dominguez Hultgren earned a dual-degree MFA/MA in Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Her research interests include material and embodied rhetorics, loom technologies, decolonizing material culture, and analyzing textiles as a performative critique against the visual. Dominguez Hultgren is represented by Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, where she had her first solo show in 2018. She is currently a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Artist Statement

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.


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.

Curriculum Vitae

b. 1980, Oakland, CA

 

Education

2019

MFA Fine Arts and MA Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2012  

Mapuche Textile Arts Apprenticeship, Ruca Mallín, Río Negro Province, Argentina

2003

BA, Comparative Literature, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

 

Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions

2020

I was India: Embroidering Exoticism (Solo Exhibition), San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, San Jose, CA

2019

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

2018  

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

2017 

The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Awards Exhibition,SOMArts, San Francisco, CA

TEXT TALES: Narrativity in Cloth & Thread,College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA

2016    

The Immediate Archive,College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA

2015  

Roots of the Maypole (Solo Exhibition), Codornices Park, Berkeley, CA, USA

2013

Iconography of Loss, 24-hour outdoor installation (Solo Exhibition), Victoria, MN, USA

2012

Duendes y Hadas de Fieltro, Antu Werken, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina

2011 

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

2012  

Epuyén Regional Festival, Epuyén, RN, Argentina

Salon Harmos, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina

Centro Cultural Eduardo Galeano, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina

2011

Cuentos Con Vos y Con Voz, La Goga Radio, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina

Centro Cultural, Lago Puelo, RN, Argentina

 

Teaching/Visiting Artist Lectures

2019

Artist Lecture, “Beyond Women’s Work: Embodied and Material Rhetoric,” Craft Theory I, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Artist Lecture, Visiting Artist Program, Gensler, San Francisco, CA

TA, California College of the Arts, Jacquard Weaving: Zeros and Ones, Oakland, CA

2018 

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

2017 

TA, California College of the Arts, Contemporary Art History and Theory (Graduate Survey), San Francisco, CA

 

Residencies

2019

Lia Cook Jacquard Weaving Residency, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA

Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

Gensler, San Francisco, CA

 

Conference Papers and Panels

2019

“Here, and No Further: Material Rhetoric in Loom with Textile.” Paper presented at VCS Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Artists. Panel speaker, My Mother’s Maiden Name, Root Division, San Francisco, CA

“Here, and No Further: Material Rhetoric in Loom with Textile.” Paper presented at Timepieces, the Centre for Comparative Literatures 29th Annual Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Artist/Parents. Panel speaker, Making (it) Work curated by Karla Wozniak and Georgia Elrod. Oliver Art Center, Oakland, CA

2017 

“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

2019

Graduate Fellowship, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

MFA Professional Development Fellowship Honorable Mention, College Art 

Association, New York, NY

SECA Award Nomination, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

2018

All College Honors Graduate Scholarship in Graduate Fine Arts Award, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Commencement Exhibition Curator Award, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Dennis Leon and Christin Nelson Scholarship

CCA Curators Award

All College Honors 2018 Graduate Scholarship in Graduate Fine Arts Award

2017  

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

 

Collections

2019

B.R. Smith Family Collection, San Francisco, CA

Google Nest Corporate Collection, Palo Alto, CA

Schreier Family Collection, Santa Cruz, CA

2018 UCSF Precision Cancer Medicine Building, San Francisco, CA

Zink Family Collection, San Francisco, CA