BUILD YOUR SELF
Friday, February 21, 2020 / 5-8 PM
Tamara Becerra Valdez
Tamara Becerra Valdez
BUILD YOUR SELF
February 21 - April 2, 2020
"When a building is destroyed, it leaves a hole in a succession of facades, sometimes revealing intimate traces still there on the party walls: bathroom tiles, a faded poster. Such vestiges look extremely outdated, miserable and touching, while being doomed to be bulldozed. But what is even more disturbing than these faces without volume is the possibility of a volume without a facade."
- Hélène Meisel
Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present BUILD YOUR SELF, a solo exhibition by BOLT Resident, Tamara Becerra Valdez that opens on Friday, February 21, with a reception from 5-8pm.
The works presented in BUILD YOUR SELF stem from Valdez’s deep interest and continued investigation into the archaeology of contemporary, banal material culture and human interaction, individually and collectively, produced with the urban landscape. Valdez gathers found objects, such as door handles with broken key locks, confetti remnants from last night’s party, handwritten notes and photographs, and carefully sets them on or into nooks and recesses of sculptures or architectural details in the gallery. Through a combination of found and crafted objects, preserved and discarded, Valdez constructs a series of new sculptures made from detritus and set in a subtle reconfiguration of space—introducing spatial and architectural interventions in the gallery.
Molds and casts of trash and debris remark on the loss and degradation of our eroding environment. The result could be described as an attempt to index and archive the total event of a small, individual moment. Rusty and worn, weathered or destroyed, the sculptures support the left behind, ditched, dumped and discarded into new modes of meaning and values.
Such traces collected are a reminder of the beauty of wear and tear on the surfaces of everyday life— and the impact of a journey that has been taken. Tripping. Falling. Missteps. Stumbling moments. Another attempt to pick oneself up, again.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Every landscape is frequented by past ways of life. How to address a way of being in the world asks us to be attuned to place, time, and intent. Through an interdisciplinary art practice, Tamara Becerra Valdez observes the meaning and function of discarded and abandoned materials to consider how historical topographies arise through traces in the urban social landscape. The ephemeral nature of human behavior leaves an impression in her work.
Her work has been exhibited at Mexic-Arte Museum, Gallery 400, Comfort Station, and Sector 2337 as part of the 2018 Lit & Luz Festival. She has held positions in programming and special collections at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the Harry Ransom Center. She has been an artist-in-residence at ACRE Projects and Human Sciences. From 2017-2019, Valdez served as a Graduate Research Fellow supervising the artistic and creative direction in the collaborative, multi-disciplinary project, “Political Ecology: Platform Chicago,” supported by the Institute for the Humanities (UIC) Humanities Without Walls consortium and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Tamara received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Image: Tamara Becerra Valdez, NENO at Cullerton and Throop St. (Second Geographies), 2018, Video still
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