Miyako Yoshinaga is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of the Ecuadorian-American artist, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira. The exhibition, In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird, is on view from January 11, 2018 to February 17, 2018.
In the Mouth of the Mountain Jaguar Everybody is a Dancing Hummingbird features a series of photographs taken by Karen Miranda Rivadeneira in the Andean mountains of Ecuador. Rivadeneira explores the relationships between humans and nature through factual and fictional narratives inviting us into a fantastical world. In recalling her trip to Ecuador, the artist remarks, "The spirit of the mountains reminded me not to take photographs, the instances I capture presented themselves, and my task is to ask permission to borrow them." Her background in painting and more recently in photojournalism help inform her photography of the intriguing cultural tapestry of the region.
The photographs guide us through the land of what the locals call “the mouth of the mountain jaguar.” Rivadeneira beautifully captures the nuance and the subtleties of the everyday life and the people she encountered while also illuminating their unique traditions, rituals, and the mysticism of the natural world. She takes us from the mountain peaks where a Pre-Incan spiritual marriage between an elderly female healer and a young male leader is taking place, to a colorful carnival festival and a humble quiet house.
This exhibition also features six collaborative works by Rivadeneira and a local painter and farmer Julio Toaquiza. Toaquiza superimposes meticulously rendered images over Rivadeneira’s landscapes. For example, in The Medicine Man with his Guides, Toaquiza depicts a traditional medicine man surrounded by owls, eagles, and alpacas against the backdrop a grassy plateau photographed by Rivadeneira. The vitality and power of the two artists’ visions unexpectedly integrate in these works.
As in the artist’s own words, “The mouth of the mountain jaguar is the entrance to the vertebrae of this land, it is the collective and sensorial body and once you are on it, there is nothing else but to dance like a hummingbird.”
Karen Miranda Rivadeneira (Born in New York City, 1983) was raised in both the United States and Ecuador. Her work as a photographer has been exhibited on four different continents. Institutions include the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum, the United Nations, and the Photographic Museum of Humanity, among others. Rivadeneira’s work is featured in multiple collections internationally from Milan, Italy to Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has been an artist in residence in the United States, France, and Italy and has served as a visiting professor at the California Institute of the Arts and as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. Rivadeneira has received multiple awards and fellowships for her work, most recently as an artist at the 3rd Latin American Forum, Sao Paulo in 2014 and as a selected participant for the New York Times first review. Notably, she received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2010 among other distinctions. She earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and holds a post graduate degree for her studies in photography at the Danish School of Journalism.