photo by Andrew J Gonzales

photo by Andrew J Gonzales

Bio:

Daniela Riojas is an interdisciplinary artist from the U.S. - Mexico, border of based out of San Antonio, TX; specializing in performance, photography, film, installation, and music. Her work deals in issues concerning reconnection to indigeny, ancient ritual, de-colonization, rediscovery of the matriarch, and investigation of the self. Daniela is the owner of local photography and media business, “ZaaZaa Productions,” voted Best Local Photographer by the SA Current in 2013 and works out of her studio "Studio 111: Daniela Riojas Multimedia Arts" as a part of the Lone Star Art District. She studied English-Creative Writing at The University of San Antonio, TX and also attended the Vermont Studio Center Residency Program in the winter of 2013. She is a Surdna Foundation grant recipient, a former artist-in-residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center through the Artist Lab Fellowship Program, and was awarded a grant for Media Arts from the Cultural and Creative Development Department of the City of San Antonio through the Artist Foundation in 2015. Her most recent performance My Well, My Stream, The River, was awarded “Best of CAM” for “most exceptional artwork” during Contemporary Art Month in 2016. Daniela is the lead singer and composer for progressive, fusion band, Femina X.

Artist statement:

I am interdisciplinary artist currently based out of San Antonio, Texas originally from the US-Mexico border. My creative body of work recalls ancient ritual practices that engage in anachronistic couplings of pre-colonial world concepts and contemporary cultural theory. Throughout my process, my corporeal presence attempts a locative terrestrial engagement for the sake of performance narratives, drawing on historical records of a land and using my body as a canvas to express personal anecdotes and/or socio-political commentary. Using my process of, “individuation through embodiment,” developed through studies in Jungian philosophy, I physically place myself in a mode of abstract worship as a way to connect to indigenous deities, totems, archetypes, and new mythic characters. I capture this process through self-portraiture, performance, installation, and video. The images and performances become vehicles for remnants of a lost spiritual history. Bringing them to the forefront of contemporary art likewise brings along education about pre-colonial mythologies, which can help reconstruct a cohesive and collective consciousness free from the imposition of imperialist dogma.