Offering and Prayer: "Frida's Heart" by Daniela Riojas
In terms of how this relates to defining my space as a Chicana feminista expressionist, I use my body and voice to make my mark on sites which have been previously conquered. The video centers around the San Antonio River and Brackenridge Park, using these geological sites as sacred grounds for offering and prayer, I engage in a ritualistic self-sacrifice, presenting my own body as gift to the river in exchange for its rebirth. In this way, the sacrifice serves as reclamation for Yanaguana, the waters which nurtured and gave sustenance to the indigenous people of this region long before colonization.
This is a film project funded by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio through the Department of Culture and Creative Development of San Antonio.
Femina-X Bio: Femina-X is an experimental multi-genre and hybridized band created by Daniela Riojas and Alex Scheel, who were later joined by Jeff Palacios, Darian Thomas, and Jai Roots. They use a blend of electronic beats, samples, and foundational live instruments and draw musical influence from tribal and ethnic dance, ritual trance, hip-hop, jungle, industrial, punk, drum and bass, and ballad pop. Through a primal-meets-modern hybrid of machine and (wo)man, it actively hones in on the colorful space between any and all labels, while creating unconventional fusions - taking from sounds of nature, cosmology, historical events, the embedded goddess, and ancestral voices.
Daniela's chameleon voice has the range to both coo and siren, lull and frighten, always reaching from a place of passion, imagination, and child-like playfulness. Her vision, melody, and lyrics construct the world within each song, pulling from her ability to narrate and share the deeply personal with an edge of fantasy.
More on Daniela:
Daniela Riojas is a multi-media artist based out of San Antonio, TX, specializing in performance, photography, videography, and music. Her work deals in ritual-based reflective self-portaiture, decolonialism through performance, and a search for ancient vibrations through music. Daniela is the owner of local photography and media business, “ZaaZaa Productions,” voted Best Local Photographer by the SA Current in 2013. She studied English-Creative Writing at The University of San Antonio, TX, received her associates in Journalism from Northwest Vista College, and also attended the Vermont Studio Center Residency Program. She is a Surdna Foundation grant recipient, a current artist-in-residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center through the Artist Lab Program, and was recently awarded a grant from the Creative and Cultural Development Department of the City of San Antonio through the Artist Foundation for Media Arts. Daniela is the lead singer and composer for avant-garde electronic band, Femina-X.
Based in San Antonio, Texas.