Clockshop is presenting a new site-specific installation by Mercedes Dorame called “Pulling the Sun Back – Xa’aa Peshii Nehiino Taame,” opening to the public on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 11, 2021, at Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Dorame, who is an LA-born Native American indigenous artist, collaborated with architectural designer Lilliana Castro to create the installation which is inviting the viewer to navigate through three elements of Tongan community structures: Kiiy (home), Shyee’evo (healing space), and Yovaar (ceremonial space).
This installation creates a shift by acknowledging the original caretakers of Los Angeles, the Tongva people, and places Tongvans in the present moment rather than part of a distant past.
Dorame’s practice is an expression of ceremonial intervention in collaboration with her ancestral Tongva lands, using indigenous knowledge as a means of reconciliation and reclamation to build radically imagined futures.
“My work explores the construction of culture and ceremony as outcomes of the need to tie one’s existence to the land. My heritage as a member of the Tongva tribe in Los Angeles connects me deeply to the landscape of California,” Dorame stated. “I am interested in the problematics of living in a place that once belonged to your ancestors, a place you feel connected to, yet have lost access to.”
Both Dorame and Castro spent significant time with the land and environment of Los Angeles State Historic Park in an attempt to encapsulate multiple elements into their installation, including the oak and sycamore trees, the sun and the city’s views from the park.
The work will be available to the public for free from Oct. 11, 2021 through Jan. 31, 2022.