Tamara Becerra Valdez (Corpus Christi, Texas) is a visual artist based in Chicago, IL. Valdez received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tamara Becerra Valdez uses video, printmaking, photography, and installation that is informed by archaeology, ethnography, and archives. She 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 screened and exhibited at Gallery 400, Comfort Station, filmfront, 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 produces artist publications and editions under the name LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO. She has been an artist-in-residence at ACRE Projects and Human Sciences. She is a contributing writer at Sixty, an online arts publication and archiving initiative that supports art and writing in and about Chicago.
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.
I am very happy to share that I have been selected as a BOLT Resident for 2019-2020 at Chicago Artists Coalition.
2019-2020 BOLT Resident Artists:
(left to right) Tamara Becerra Valdez, Latham Zearfoss, Leticia Bernaus, Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, Alejandro Jimenez-Flores, and Karen Dana Cohen.
Now & There, the first of two University of Illinois at Chicago Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibitions features the work of Leticia Bernaus, Stella Brown, Daniel Carroll, Malte Stiehl, and Tamara Becerra Valdez.
With close attention to the connection between place and identity, each artist examines the overt complexities ever present in memory, whether collective or personal, actual or imagined. Memory, often considered a mercurial human function, is one that wavers and is ever-changing. Although fluid in nature and multi-layered, memory follows specific and real paths, shaping our understanding of ourselves and one another. Likewise, nostalgia remains in constant flux, susceptible to the analysis of remembering and forgetting, unaware of its successive distortions, vulnerable to manipulation, predisposed to being long dormant and periodically revived. Through their unique practices, the artists in Now & There negotiate memory, and as an extension- nostalgia, as a site to explore untold, unseen or forgotten histories.
‘All have the same breath’ Gallery 400, Chicago IL January 18 - March 9 2019
Participating as a respondent with Dr. Tarini Bedi in the Istanbul session led by Alize Arıcan: "What Does Solidarity Look Like during Extended Urban Transformation? Caring in/for/with Tarlabaşı" and the HWW Participating Artist Panel with Leticia Bernaus, Stella Brown, Bochay Drum, Larsen Husby, and Jared Kelley-Hudgins and curator, Karen Greenwalt; All have the same breath Closing Symposium for Political Ecology as Practice: A Regional Approach to the Anthropocene, Gallery 400 Lecture Hall, March 1-2, 2019
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