Conversation with Mercedes Dorame and River Garza
The Map and the Territory includes two site-specific installations by Tongva artists Mercedes Dorame and River Garza.Featuring objects excavated in Southern California, along with archival materials from the Fowler’s archaeological collection, the installations prompt viewers to examine the processes by which institutions like the Fowler acquire, catalog, store, and study objects from Indigenous communities. The installations give new meanings to these objects, creating new spaces of intersection and understanding.
Join the artists, the Fowler’s Chief Curator Matthew H. Robb, and Senior Curator of Archaeology Wendy Teeter for a conversation about these installations; the artists’ current projects; the systems that have brought such objects to the Fowler; and the ongoing dialogues between tribal communities and museums.
About the artists:
Mercedes Dorame is a visual artist who calls on her Tongva ancestry to engage the problematics of visibility and ideas of cultural construction as an outcome of the need to tie one’s existence to the land. Dorame was recently honored by UCLA as an outstanding alumna of the past 100 years; and was part of the Hammer Museum’s 2018 Made in LA biennial. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley, among other institutions. Dorame was born in Los Angeles; received her undergraduate degree from UCLA; and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
River T. Garza is a Los Angeles-based artist of Indigenous and Mexican descent, a paddler, and a member of Ti’at Society. Garza’s work draws on Tongva and Mexican cultures, traditional Indigenous aesthetics and graffiti, as well as Southern California Indigenous maritime culture. He uses his work to critique settler capitalism, while exploring how the literal and metaphoric layers of colonialism add weight to contemporary Indigenous identity, which is a source of both pain and creativity.
Hosted by the UCLA Fowler Museum. Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center