“Being and Becoming” is a self-portrait documentation that explores goddess rituals of Latin American nature religions that predate Western colonialism. Riojas’ self-portraiture stands as a testament of her own psychological journey into the deep-rooted, ancient spaces of the subconscious where universal knowledge and symbols roam.
"Being and Becoming: Gold #3" (2013)
Using her process of, “individuation through embodiment,” Riojas physically places herself in a mode of abstract worship as a way to connect to female deities which were once important shamanistic forces of death and rebirth; the images become vehicles for remnants of a lost spiritual history. Bringing them to the forefront of contemporary art likewise brings along Latin American mythologies which can help reconstruct a cohesive and collective consciousness rooted in nature and the understanding of the cosmic female.
"Being and Becoming: Gold #4" (2013)
The “Gold Series” is related to the ancient practice of eating gold to cure neurosis and to assimilate the beautiful, light-reflective characteristics of gold. Ancients believed that internalizing this precious mineral would result in a heightened sense of love and purity. Additionally, I made my self portrait series Being and Becoming Gold with the strict intention of purifying my mind soul and body, following an ancient practice of eating gold as way to embody a sacred element. My rituals are deeply personal and have taken me to places of deep love, deep knowing of my ancestors and knowing of myself.
"Being and Becoming: Gold #2" (2013)
The formation of gold through thousands of years of earth layers compressing and destroying themselves were a direct reflection of my own psychology and inner world as I have been through many deaths and rebirths. Gold has been used in many ways throughout the course of humanity, especially in relation to art. I have found my own relation to it and hope to continue making it a vehicle for the spiritual and for the female awakening. Gold is gold. It simply is what it is. What is important is the intention behind its use and the outcome of our interaction through it.