Grounded in a multi-disciplinary practice that combines printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics, Valdes analyzes the relationship between historical and contemporary objects to explore their relationship to the social, political and economic cultures that produce and consume them. With an interest in the provenance of items found in shops, thrift stores and garage sales, Valdes assembles objects to create sculptural installations that point to larger narratives about the movement of bodies and objects.
In an earlier project for Jamaica Flux in 2009, Valdes created a series of Jamaica postcards that reflected on how immigrant communities stay connected to their homelands through design, interiors and the objects that adorn them. In Untitled – “what you looking at!” Valdes turns to the photo-documentation of decorative objects and housewares prevalent in stores along Jamaica Avenue. In the form of a long hanging scroll, Valdes has created a visual archaeology of objects that end in a pool of materials on the floor that reference domesticity, and return the piece to materiality and consumerism. Eliciting migration and displacement as a complex process of exchange, the everyday object as carrier of past histories and contemporary experience serves as the raw material that shapes cultural memory.www.juanamvaldes.com