Tamara Becerra Valdez: BUILD YOUR SELF

Wednesday, Jan 6 – 21, 2021

2130-40 West Fulton St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Extended: January 6 - January 21, 2021 by appointment only. Please reserve your time here.

"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 Such vestiges look extremely outdated, miserable and touching, while being doomed to be bulldozed.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

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.

WATCH: worlding ripping nature, a complementary video playlist by Tamara Becerra Valdez about the artist's interests in identity, infrastructure, and environmentalism. Included are videos by influential artists, poets, filmmakers, and musicians such as Anna Arismendez of Caña Dulce y Caña Brava, Cecilia Vicuña, Jose Olivarez, and May Ayim. 
READ: “The Earthworm Also Sings” (1992) by Pauline Oliveros