Tamara Becerra Valdez uses video, printmaking, photography, and installation alongside an adoption of methods in archaeology, ethnography, and archives to consider how historical topographies can be discovered in traces and fragments in the urban social landscape. Through intervening methodologies and chance encounters, she observes the uses, meanings, and functions of discarded and abandoned materials. The ephemeral nature of human behavior leaves an impression in her work.
Additionally, she produces artist publications and editions under the name LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO.
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. She is currently completing her MFA in Moving Image at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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
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.
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