Bio (Download PDF of CV)

Valerie Mendoza is a lens-based installation artist, writer and educator. Her work mines the intersections between history, memory, media, cultural institutions, and language. Using photographs, video, audio, objects, personal narrative, and various forms of information, her work creates a cross-disciplinary dialogue between disparate sources in her ongoing effort to question dubious notions of reality. Her early work used scientific theories and terminology as metaphors for human behavior. Research for Mendoza’s video series, Consumption, took her to Spain, France and Belgium in the early 2000’s. She worked as part of an archeological team focused on Neanderthal belongings and remains in Sclayn, Belgium, 2002 for her video/installation division. From 2005 to 2006, she worked at the border of the U.S. and Mexico shooting footage for her video Different, naturally, to which she added elements of installation over the next few years.

Her recent work, Monument: 91 Images of One Vacant Property for Sale, Our Agents, À Venda (For Sale) and Café Espelho (Cafe Mirror) falls within the realm of social practice, and addresses related issues of gentrification, the speculative real estate market, and the affordable housing crisis. As one of 8 artists in residence at Camac Centre D’Art, Marnay Art Centre, France, 2010, she began early work on her photo-based installation Monument: 91 Images of One Vacant Property for Sale. Research for her companion installation, Our Agents, began in 2014. Over summer 2016, she spent four weeks in Portugal during a Caminho português de Santiago, taking over 2000 photographs, studying perceptions of land use both similar to, and different from those in the U.S. In 2017 she was one of 5 artists in residence at DE LICEIRAS 18, Porto, Portugal. There, she expanded her research, conducting video interviews on the subject of gentrification, “touristification” and lack of affordable housing throughout Portugal.

Three completed bodies of related work were featured in Mendoza’s solo exhibition, O Custo de Vida (The Cost of Living): Monument, Our Agents, and a new piece, À Venda (For Sale, incorporating the video of the same name), occupied all three floors of Galeria do Sol, Porto, Portugal in November 2018. A separate, entirely new mixed media exhibition with related content, Café Espelho (Cafe Mirror) was a part of the exhibition Reason & Reverie, Thompson Gallery, San Jose, CA, September 2018. Most recently, Our Agents was chosen for inclusion in The de Young Open, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, 2020 - date to be announced. Mendoza is currently expanding her research to encompass prominent cities throughout the European Union and Latin America, where the issue of affordable housing is a growing crisis. Information and imagery on the work discussed above can be viewed in the New Work section of this site.

Mendoza’s work has been exhibited in France, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, and venues throughout the United States. Her practice is based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is an Associate Professor at San José State University.