Sandra Valenzuela (1980-). Born in Mexico City, Mexico


SandraSAN = Sandra Valenzuela

An intentional practice of displacement, reinterpretation and recombination brings sexual, gravitational, historical and cultural inversions to my work. I try to engage rather than divorce, mix rather than sort.  This method relies heavily on my research technique:  a mixture between academics, an addiction to books, and a process of image gathering akin to advertising agency pre-production.  A post romantic conceptualism would be a short way to describe my work. For example, in the series Media-noche, my intention was to invent bridges between the Baroque still life paintings of Sachez Cotán, the aesthetics of product shots, surrealist ideas and the cultural clichés of discomfort experienced by tropical immigrants in a cold weather, and diligence of femininity trough crochet practice.  The title itself is an aggregate: media means stocking, noche is night, and the words taken together translate to midnight as well as a Cuban sandwich, made out of left-overs and eaten after a night of dancing and drinking. I consider form a tool to seduce the spectator. Predominantly, I make use of commercial-style photography and the stylization of the product on display. This comes from my interpretation of the ready-made as the consummation of the erotic act between the shopper and the acquisition. As a counterpart to the “commercial” appeal of the images, I integrate hand-made practices, such as knitting and sewing, which often relate to commonplace femininity, in an attempt to bring together, the product, the craft, it’s advertising, and a cultural-historical comment. My work stems from mixing past and current references (high art, popular culture, ethnic practices and design), experiences, observations and emotions. I am very fond of the quote by Duchamp referring to the T. S. Elliot essay Tradition and the Individual Talent: “The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates, the more perfect will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material”.