Kira Dominguez Hultgren

Instagram: kiradominguezhultgren


Bio: Kira Dominguez Hultgren (b. 1980, she/they) is a U.S.-based artist, weaver, and educator. They studied postcolonial theory and literature at Princeton University, and studio arts and visual and critical studies at California College of the Arts. Their research interests include material and embodied rhetorics, re-storying material culture, and weaving as a performative critique of the visual. Dominguez Hultgren weaves with the material afterlife of a so-called multiracial family: Chicanx-Indigenous-Indian-Hollywood Hawaiian-Brown-Black. Instead of being passed down, weaving and textile processes are brought up, resurrected from family stories and fabrics. Dominguez Hultgren builds looms to weave into the frayed edges of lost language, culture, traditions, and lives that were deliberately cut-off in past generations. Her looms – whether digital jacquard, backstrap, floor, post – materialize this present absence often as largescale checkboxes and X-marks. Questions about cultural appropriation and codeswitching, exoticism, and performing cultural misrecognitions occupy their practice. Dominguez Hultgren has exhibited their work broadly including shows at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in NYC, Ballroom Marfa in Marfa, Texas, and Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco. Their work has received critical attention including reviews in the New York Times and Architectural Digest; and is in the de Young Museum’s permanent collection. Residencies include Basque BioDesign Center in Spain, Gensler, Facebook, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Upcoming exhibitions include the Museum of Arts and Design and a public art installation with the City of Berkeley. Dominguez Hultgren is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. They are a 2024 United States Artists Fellow.

Statement: I weave with substitutional and supplementary warp structures. One yarn gets cut away; another takes its place. One strand gets hidden, pushed to the back so another can become visible. In my studio practice, weaving and the loom act as a code-switching device between anachronistic technologies, elusive identities, speculative histories, and illusory desires. I enter backstrap, studio jacquard, industrial jacquard, floor, table, vertical post, and frame looms as wombs, sites of longing and expulsion. Material that is untouchable in the day-to-day hums awake on the loom, in my hands. I find myself arms-deep in my mother, patting into shape masses of the unsaid, unrealized birth, death, and desire that she holds in her body. Skeleton looms stretch the fabric, supporting and disfiguring multistory folds of “the joy and the pain of finding each other, of realizing how long we’ve done without” (Mirtha Quintanales, I Paid Very Hard for My Immigrant Ignorance, 1980). I see my role as the weaver and daughter between generational silences, between racialized skin and gendered bodies. To borrow the term from Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, mine is a practice of visionary daughtering, of tugging at, teasing, and folding history into the present.