FotoFest Exhibitions

Sandra Valenzuela

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Reverting back to the early modern history of performance and photography, Sandra Valenzuela’s X-boyfriends project came about as a result of an identity crisis that the artist faced while living in New York. Through the staging of a sequence of narrative stills based on the personality of each of her ex-boyfriends, Valenzuela has tried to make sense of her own identity as both an individual and girlfriend. X-boyfriends Alias Fake Memories (Paco) (2007) documents her relationship with an ex-boyfriend whom Valenzuela characterized as being smart, cultured, and self-assured; he was somebody who grew up among females and was very close to his feminine and manipulative side. She decided to shoot the project in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and chose the decade of the 1920s to supply the symbolic tenor of this failed relationship. Valenzuela then decided to reverse roles with her ex-boyfriend by having him dress up as a “respectable” lady and herself as a little boy. Valenzuela staged this performance in the 1920s to coincide with the decade most associated with the Dadaist movement; in her imagination, “the twenties provided a poignant window because what began with such fervor ended with a tragic crisis.”

Sandra Valenzuela was born in Mexico City in 1980. She earned her B.F.A in visual arts at the School of Painting and Sculpture: La Esmeralda- INBA, Mexico City and a M.F.A from the Pratt Institute, New York. She has had solo exhibitions in Italy, the United States, Mexico, and Spain. Her work has also been exhibited in collective shows at The Rubin Center for The Visual Arts, El Paso, Texas; Museo del Barrio; New York; Instituto Cervantes, New York; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; Galería Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City; and Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte Roma, Mexico City. Valenzuela has received grants from: Fulbright/García Robles, El Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes—Programa de Apoyo para Estudios en el Extranjero (FONCA-PAEE), La Colección Jumex, Unidad Latina Foundation and National Council on Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT). Her work is included in private collections as well as the collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York and has been reviewed in The New York Times, Village Voice, and The New Yorker among others. She is currently working towards a degree in Chinese studies at El Colegio de México, Mexico City.