Episode 36: Katie Dorame


Episode 36: Katie Dorame

By Weston Teruya December 5, 2018

Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.

On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Oakland-based artist Katie Dorame. Dorame primarily works in painting and drawing to weave together elements from classic and camp Hollywood movies, genre fiction, and archival research to create narratives that explore colonialism and Native American pop-culture representations, leavened with moments of humor. Her work complicates this season’s theme of “movement,” challenging us to remember that movement is defined by the places moved through or into; that the power to enter in to a space is not the same as being welcomed in; and that the narratives that shape our knowledge of those journeys are a potential site to reclaim agency. In one of her signature series, Alien Apostles, Franciscan priests are depicted as invading outer space entities, terrorizing California’s Native peoples and facing staunch resistance. In Pirates & Sea Ghouls, she populates scenes from swashbuckling pirate cinema with Native American actors including Irene Bedard, Wes Studi, and Tantoo Cardinal, reimagining those oceanic Western fictions as a site for indigenous centered adventure. In our conversation we discuss the sources of her work; the compression of past, present, and future; and how painting suits her need for a reclusive practice.

Katie Dorame is a visual artist, primarily working in painting, born in Los Angeles, currently living and working in Oakland. Dorame’s work has been exhibited at Shulamit Nazarian in Los Angeles, Southern Exposure, Galería de la Raza, Incline Gallery, and the Thacher Gallery in San Francisco as well as the Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College in New York.  She received her MFA from the California College of the Arts and her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is an Indigenous artist of mixed descent, and member of the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe of California.



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