A report by D’Arcy Sardone for the Markets Herald.
Dominican artist Amanda Valle presents an evocative reflection on time, the importance of the inanimate and the discarded through a pile of shredded taxes, routine check-ups, inconsistencies, excel sheets, new hires, confidential guest lists, and failed plans for a fourth marriage. Starting Dec. 1, the installation will be visible at the Spectrum Art Fair in Mana Wynwood, Miami, during the prestigious Art Basel show. Latent Life starts from a personal experience: “In the past I took a part-time job archiving and organizing documents,” the artist says. “I had two directives: to remove all of the documents that were more than ten years old and to shred only those papers which contained confidential information or social security numbers. That was almost everything. I sat next to a paper shredder, robotically sending sheet by sheet to its demise through the machine. In my restlessness and despair, the machine would get stuck every half-hour, due to the excess of sheets that I wanted to destroy at once.
I was flooded in an ocean of taxes, medical notes, and private documents that had once enjoyed a life of their own. I went through divorces and other scourges. The pile of paper was growing. Suddenly, I felt a great interest in keeping all of that garbage. I thought of the latitude of life, of its misfortunes and happiness, of the emotions that certain people’s stories provoke in us, of the systems that we follow blindly, out of duty, pleasure, or obligation.” As precisely described by relevant Italian curator Serena Tabacchi, director and cofounder of the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art: Life is filled with information, a complex combination of numbers, letters and coding composing identities and celebrating existence under the form of legal documents within our birth and death certificates. As a block of alphanumeric strings acts in a smart way on the blockchain, we fall into the attractive method of organizing our lives, with a desperate desire to make sense of something beyond our comprehension. Latent Life is a collection of moments from unknown people. Highs and downs mixed in a mash of primordial emotions, captured in the moment of destruction. The artist acts as a modern God: shredding lives, piling information and turning this into a new existence. A sacred communion we silently witness. The separation between the information and its identities, well captures the essence of our lives. We are united in a latent space that only exists at the limits of our time of existence.
Amanda Valle is a multidisciplinary artist born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1984. Only daughter of a single mother, she spent most of her youth home, drawing and painting the imaginary outer world that colorfully lived in her mind. After a brief experience at the local Art Academy, she early decided to venture the world working and living in Europe, Asia and America. In the last years she has been dedicating most of her time to artistic experimentation, participating to events such as Art Basel Miami 2017 and Salone del Mobile Milan 2018 (Nilufar Gallery), and developing new ways of expression through videos and, recently, digital art and NFTs. Her latest work, the short film “Back in the Island” has been selected at more than 15 festivals winning the Award for Best Generation at the Berlin Commercial festival, Best Photography at Le Femme filmmakers festival in UK and Best Dominican Documentary in Dominican Republic. Since 2019 she lives and works between Dominican Republic and New York.