Photo credit: Guido VIllalba Portel

Those The Sun Has Loved, Juana Valdes (Miami FL)
Miami Goes Elsewhere. June 2016. Appliquéd images printed on fabric, thread, documented oral histories.

Those The Sun Has Loved is a photo-based and oral history documentary project capturing Elsewhere’s institutional transition during a historic restoration that brought the building up to code, architecturally transforming it into truly livable space for future residents.

Valdes constructs a narrative of this moment from the perspective of the participants through multiple mediums including audio interviews from staff, interns, residents, and contracted workers, a banner that hosts their portraits, and a digital photographic tour from her viewpoint. Valdes constructed the hand appliquéd tapestry in collaboration with the museum’s visiting public, Elsewhere’s community, the construction crew, and finally with her mother who is a Cuban-American immigrant.

Entitled after a found book in the museum that follows a family saga covering over 200 years and seven generations of a freeborn African Americans, Those The Sun Has Loved captures moments of synchronicity that collapse time, histories, and personal narratives.  Valdes’s work gives presence to the individuals whose unseen daily labor builds an organization.