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The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol 1

Currently on display: Oct. 6 - Dec. 15, 2018

CALAFIA: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise

Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art

California State University San Bernardino

Still from The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol. 1, 2018

Appropriation art collage piece


The Unauthorized Histography of California Volume 1 is an appropriated video

collage exploring how individual and institutional predispositions towards

patriarchal models intersect and impact notions of race, class, gender, sexuality,

and nation.

In the early 1500’s Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo created Queen

Calafia. In a time when colonization was in its infancy he established a portrait

of the powerful ruler of an independent, matriarchal, and militarized kingdom. In

2001, Disney re-appropriated her image in the now closed 23-minute multimedia

experience “Golden Dreams” telling the history of California through several

recreated scenes narrated by the fictional warrior queen. Introduced as the

“Queen of California” she watched over the viewers as witness, mother, and

protector as they observed admirable and regrettable incidents in the history of

California’s creation.

The Unauthorized Histography of California Volume 1 represents Calafia through

the image of Diouana the main protagonist in the movie La Noir De (aka Black

Girl) directed by Ousmane Sembène. Diouana, represents a break from

Eurocentric conventions by providing films first African perspective on the tense

relationships between the formerly colonized and colonizer. In The Unauthorized

Histography of California Volume 1 Diouana guides the viewer through historic

flashes of the gold rush, white flight, and the LA Riots. This exploration of California

history highlights the confluence of violence and patriarchy as a destabilizing

hypermasculinist model.

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