sandraSAN by Sandra Valenzuela PDF
Written by Sol Henaro   


Or a visual fold to alter identity and other forms of splitting

'Ex novios o falsos recuerdos'


It is tempting to imagine oneself as someone else. In literature, the use of pseudonyms and pen-names is common and has given rise to key figures such as Georges Sand (Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin), Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis (Fernando Pessoa). There are also examples in the visual arts. In fact, one of the most significant and best-known identities in contemporary art is that of Rose Sélavy (C’est la vie!), Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego.


'X boyfriend allas fake memories' © Sandra San'X boyfriend allas fake memories' © Sandra San


Sandra Valenzuela’s SandraSAN exhibition shows the artist’s interest in discovering (himself) in the intricate territory of the construction-deconstruction of identity and of experiencing splitting as a sort of game and particularly as a sort of visual thesis-in-progress. The title itself raises a question: who is SandraSAN? Is the person who appears in the images of Sandra Valenzuela that alias, alter ego, pseudonym or pen-name who answers to the name of SandraSAN? Who do I see when I see her? The works comprising this exhibition contain several self-referential features. Although Sandra's interests do not necessarily focus on gender studies, some of her works do explore this issue. For example, in “Paco,” (from the series on ex-boyfriends or false memories), Sandra uses her immediate past by altering facts, time, her own and others' conditions by exchanging roles, perhaps as an allusion and recognition of the fact that Rose Sélavy has of her own artistic work.


The project in progress, “Fashion Geniuses,” operates, in Sandra’s words, as a pantheon of muses, as my pantheon of influences. These characters are her other boyfriends, characters that expanded definitions and possibilities for contemporary culture and are often exploited to the extent that they become equivalent to a make or label or logo. The “over-use” of some characters and concepts and the place Rose Sélavy holds for Sandra Valenzuela enabled her to establish this ironic approval with Gropius, Deleuze, Cage and Duchamp, among others.


'X boyfriend allas fake memories' © Sandra San


Absolutely constructed, each of the images that comprise ─and show─ SandraSAN, evince Sandra’s compulsive control over each of her productions. Her attention to the smallest detail, obsession with reducing accidents and an unusual ability to blend and shift between various functions (management, production, performance and modeling) are established characteristics of her artistic production.


Visit the Sandra San's work:



Sol Henaro is currently a grant-holder in the program for overseas studies at the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) and the Jumex Foundation/Collection.



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