January 5, 2012 - January 29, 2012
At 6:45 AM on September 11, 2001, Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira arrived in New York City, the place of her birth, after living in Ecuador since the age of four. She returned to her extended family’s home, occupied by her centenarian grandmother, octogenarian aunt, as well as a host of recent immigrants from Central and South America who tend to come and go, often staying for extended periods. “Bliss Street” is an intimate photographic project which grew out of Miranda-Rivadeneira’s deep and personal immersion in the domestic lives of those with whom she shares this house.
“I was affected by the same magnetism that has attracted so many people to the house on Bliss Street (as the street is literally called). These frustrations, these involuntary games, these daily rituals, this inner economy of a made-up family, what happens when legal status is not an issue anymore, when there is no migration to do, the answer I found it here; the answer is to live, to survive. It could perhaps be more “interesting” to tell foreign stories, observe other worlds and costumes. I had many opportunities to leave, but I decided to stay and tried to understand what is more natural, more near, more visceral; this family, my family, what I have in front of me.”
Karen Miranda-Rivadeneira (b. 1983, New York City) graduated in 2005 from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BA in Fine Arts, and was selected to be artist-in-residence at the Fondazione Ratti’s Intense Visual Arts program with artist Alfredo Jaar in Como, Italy. The following year, Miranda-Rivadeneira traveled around South America and began working as a photojournalist. Since 2006, she has been working on projects that deal with identity and intimacy through collaborations with native communities and her relatives as subjects for various photo-based projects. She has worked with the Mam in Guatemala, with the Mandaeans (an ethnic group in the south of Iraq and west of Iran) living in Sweden, and with the Waoranis in the Ecuadorian Amazon and lately in the Andean Mountains. She has been awarded the New Works Photography by EnFoco, the Urban Artist Initiative by the Bronx Council for the Arts, the Individual Artist Initiative by the Queens Council for the Arts, FotoFest’s Biennial Portfolio Scholarship, and her work has recently been acquired for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts Photography Collection. Miranda-Rivadeneira currently lives and works in New York City.