Over the summer our friend, Feliz returnee, and amazing artist, Tamara Becerra Valdez went to Mexico City. I had recently returned from my second trip to DF when she told me she was going to spend her summer there. I was jealous of the time that she had ahead of her. Instead of asking Tamara the usual blog questions, I wanted her to tell me about her experience being immersed in the magic of Mexico City.
Name: Tamara Becerra Valdez
Product: objects new, found and collaborative
Location: Austin, Texas
Astrological sign: Capricorn
What you had for breakfast: fruit salad > apples, tangerine, bananas with amaranth, cranberries, chia and coconut on top & coffee
This summer I booked a flight to Mexico City for inspiration and time for myself.
For the weeks I was in Mexico City, I used 6 rolls of film on a 35 mm camera, collected 73 audio recordings and 56 voice memos on my iPhone. I attended less than a handful of museums, but found homes, buildings, curbsides, parks, and street corners that inspired me more than a museum could have done at the time. I wanted to live and recognize and not tour the city with a "go-to" list.
Besides, I anticipated a reunion with four incredible friends from Austin during the last week of my stay and I knew we would have some good time for adventures downtown to museums and restaurants. (And we did!)
My thoughts and imaginations felt more than matched in Mexico City. I felt ignited by overlooked elements. A bright blue cord strung from screw to screw on a black and white stone wall while turquoise threads hung leftover from presumably some kind of celebration. Elements like these inspire my decision in choosing materials for sculptures and more so, in packaging. The autoconstrucción of mundane materials collaborating with the everyday. My obsessions had been matched.
Everyday Mexico City raised my consciousness inch by inch. In thinking about returning to Austin, I did not want to create anything I had before. I think some people expect artists to continue making the same kind of work, over and over to appease the viewer or to continue the narrative they had of the artist. I want to bring more of the unexpected into my work, but also still include those traces of ephemerality and tradition. Mexico City challenged my creative process and excited a new position of opportunity.
In all the work I do, whether it is in arranging herbs for burning or placing together pages for a zine or collaborating on a piece with a respected friend, I do copious amounts of research. That is the place where I hold most value in my work. But I’m no anthropologist or folklorist, really; I’m a collaborator.
Gladly, Im returning to FELIZ this November to bring a distinct collection of objects new, found and collaborative, all in good vibration.