DANIELA RIVERA in collaboration with
Sound intervention:

Daniela Rivera
1973. Born in Santiago Chile, Lives in Boston, MA, USA

2019 Public Art Accelerator Now and There
2006 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
2006 MFA, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1996 Licenciatura en Arte mención Pintura y Dibujo Universidad Católica de Chile

She has hold solo shows at Fitchburg Art Musuem , MA; The Davis Museum. Wellesley College; MFA Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Brant Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art. Boston, MA; La Montagne Gallery, South Boston, MA in USA; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC) and Galeria Animal in Santiago, Chile among others. 

VSC Fellowship; NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures) Grant Award
Artist REsource Trust Fund for Individuals, Berkshire Taconic Foundation; Colman Award; Finalist for Foster Price; Emerging Artist Award St. Botoloph Club Foundation; Gund Fellowship/ Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; CAA Recognition Award for Best work in Show; Beca Fundacion Andes; FONDART

2006 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan Maine
2017 Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, Vermont 
2018 Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center

This residence has been possible thanks to the generous support of:

Daniela Rivera


In Search of ...

03.07.2019 to 11.08.2019

In Search for the Andes: Ambiguous Loss and the disappearance of the Mnemonic Landscape
In Search for the Andes is born from the need to go deep in the experience of immigration beside the politics, economics, and social aspects. What is the experience of losing memories and losing also the referents that allow you to connect with the loss? 
A disembodied loss that disjoints your identity and what you knew to be familiar and stable.
Several years ago, my art practice and work shifted from direct representations of the human body to constructions of spaces which the viewer's body inhabits. This shift was an attempt to establish a closer relationship with the viewers of my work and allow them to physically experience a sense of agency and responsibility when coming in contact with the work. 
Landscape as an object and an embodiment of narratives and history grew as a subject matter of research. On the one hand, the notion of landscape is an extension of the staging strategy that I work with. On the other hand, the traces of human labor that amount to the transformation of the land offer the possibility of bringing into the work cultural, political and social responsibilities more directly.
The idea of a landscape as the backdrop for the erection of culture and the development of national identities is of particular interest to me. It is more interesting when the landscape is the product of certain industries and migratory actions that are responsible for producing the economy, culture and social dynamics of a particular place. The landscape and its scarring become a living document of lives, labor, culture and societal need.
In pursuit of my interest in cultural migration, effects of immigration, and ideas of cultural digestion, I focused my observations on the notion of landscape as a possible surrogate for the materialization of transcultural occurrences. These moments can be located in the transformation of environments due to industry, or simple migration or introduction of alien species in particular areas. I believe that a closer observation of these particular elements or their lack, can open paths into the exploration of immigration from a closer and more personal perspective rather than the more macro political, economic and social modes of analysis we usually encounter.  

As an immigrant, myself, I experience constant loss. This iterative experience of loss is unutterable, and due to its active irresolution, it generates paralysis and resistance. This ambiguous loss, though relentlessly experienced, is practically invisible and hardly accounted for, in different studies or reflections about immigration. Political and economic commentaries and research expose, through eloquent explanations, the reasons for migratory movements - the gains for the migrant, the loss for the local economies, the development of new industries, and of course, the social alterations and cultural transformations experienced by particular communities. Many of these texts, documentaries, studies and news broadcasts give little or no description of the pervasiveness of the loss of the recognizable and familiar, as well as the invisibility of home. This ambiguous and continuous sense of loss suffered by the immigrant is frequently overlooked and certainly ill examined.
Exhaustion is a usual feeling, even after sixteen years of residence in the United States. Every morning when I wake up and look through the window the sight appears completely unfamiliar. We don’t look for beauty, but for comfort in what is known. The loss of recognition is the loss of stability. Exhaustion is also a product of constant alertness. There are no moments of obliviousness in unfamiliar grounds, and this unfamiliarity is one that tends to reproduce itself and resists domination. The possibility of mechanized and unconscious travel, or the prospect of inhabiting an invisible “landscape” is impossible.
In Search for the Andes: Ambiguous Loss and the disappearance of the Mnemonic Landscape is a project that explores the experience of instability brought by the lack of referent to recall identity. I have been recording interviews with South American immigrants to the US and people that had been relocated due to industrial developments or contamination. The core of these conversations are the vivid attempts to bring back what is lost in memory and the missing pieces that build a complete sense of self. Today, Guillermo Mena and I work, from this failed attempt to retrieve memories, to create inside the exhibition space a new place that resists consumption and points to the emptying of memory. We are working from the exhausting experience of relocation and displacement.
Guillermo Mena and I are working with and from drawing, a language that is familiar to both but in collaboration made foreign. We are using copper to create each mark, pointing to the origin and history of the material in the Andes region, its many economic and political transitions in ownership, its history in relation to urban development and displacement, and the characteristics of the its mark.  Copper sits on top of the surface rescuing all its accidents highlighting the memory and history of the walls that now host it. The drawing takes over the gallery space tilting it and pointing to the instability generated by the disruption of memory. The time-consuming process of the metal point refers back to the labored landscapes of this industrial sites and its complex history. The audio of the exhibition is an accumulation of testimonies, audio of the Andes, and recordings of the making of the piece, a different but reciprocal type of mark in the space.
Familiarity and displacement are the tension that lies at the foundation of this project.
Javier Bustos comes into the project bringing his expertise as musician and sound artist, manipulating audio files and creating new ones. It is in the midst of a creative dialogue that we all attempt to give body to the experience of Mnemonic loss.
Three distinct and unfamiliar voices attempting to create just one sound to represent home.
More about this project, click here