Valerie Mendoza

Division (Part of the Consumption series)
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For the past 10 years I’ve used my work to investigate the interaction between history, memory, media and language. Using photographic, video digital and audio information, my work creates a cross-disciplinary dialogue between various forms of narrative (scientific, medical, biblical, and personal), offering both scientific and irrational explanations for natural and unnatural phenomena. Though I don’t consider my work to be overtly political, the act of placing information from highly regarded fields of study beside my own text about the mundane details of my life is something of a political act. The hierarchy that would normally exist between these two types of writing is displaced. As the creator of the piece, I become the authority figure, free to create any meaning I wish from the text which was intended for distinctly different purposes. By extension, the viewer is endowed with the same power. With the Consumption series in particular, I am interested in exploring how various elements, heredity, family, social events, media, cultural constructs (such as science and medicine) and personal memory effect not only the decisions one makes, but how they are framed after the fact.

During this time of national and international unrest, when “heroic” acts have gained such a place of prominence in the media and nation at large, it seems particularly important to uphold the validity of the mundane experience: personal acts of courage, moments of boredom and despair, and brief flashes of personal insight, played out on the small stages of our private lives.

© Valerie Mendoza