Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

National Portrait Gallery  Search this
YouTube Videos
Video Title:
Artist Karen Miranda Rivadeneira in "Staging the Self" - National Portrait Gallery
Interview with artist Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, her works are part of our exhibition "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self" on display at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery from August 22, 2014 through April 12, 2015 ( ). “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” features the work of David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, and Michael Vasquez, all artists of Latino background, who make us aware of how identities are constructed and negotiated via portraiture. Seeking to relieve portraiture of its charge to memorialize individuals and convey essential aspects of their identities, they use it instead to explore the ambiguities and changes in individual character. Theatricality is central to their inquiry, as they represent narratives remembered or imagined from their own family histories, or superimpose portraits of their loved ones over themselves, looking for what is shared or unique in individuality, searching like an actor for a character. As they present themselves in a staged manner, portraiture loses its aura of certainty, and becomes an evolving map for finding oneself and others. Since 2006, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira’s photographic projects have focused on identity and intimacy. With her family’s participation, she has staged and photographed memories of her childhood in her family’s home in Queens, New York. She has also worked with native peoples, such as the Mam in Guatemala, the Mandaeans (from south of Iraq and west of Iran) living in Sweden, and the Waoranis in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Most recently she has explored such ancient traditions as shamanism in the Andean Mountains. In these diverse locations she uses the medium of photography to locate the universal while exploring the intersection of memory and tradition. Miranda Rivadeneira earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the recipient of multiple awards and fellowships, including a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in photography, the EnFoco New Works Award, and a grant from the Queens Council of the Arts. She has published and exhibited widely and is an invited participant in the 2014 Latin American Photography Forum in São Paulo, Brazil. Music: "Feel Good (Instrumental)" by Broke For Free From Free Music Archive Used via Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License
Video Duration:
3 min 28 sec
YouTube Keywords:
Portrait Gallery
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Portraits  Search this
See more by:
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
YouTube Channel: