Vera Saldivar de Lira

Vera Saldivar de Lira (AGS, Mexico, b. 1993) is a lens-based visual artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA in Architecture from ITESM Campus Aguascalientes and an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography-Bard College, New York. Vera has been a recipient of the Arnold Newman Scholarship (2017-2018) and a Director’s Fellowship (2018-2020.) Her works explore her relationship with architectural and physical space, alienation and dissociation, as well as the materiality of photography and the relationship between the body in the process of image-making by using the camera as a tool to confront agoraphobia and self-awareness. Vera works mainly with photography, She also uses video, artist books, installation, printmaking, and textiles. Her works have been showing at The Royal Society of American Art (BK, NY,) The International Center of Photography School (NY, NY), and the Museum of the Moving Image (QNS, NY)


By placing sheets of fine art paper on different surfaces of places and objects, I do a rubbing of the texture and geometry of these objects and places, then I photograph the paper in this context. With this gesture, every surface becomes a source of information and questions what is more of a direct representation; the paper containing the surface texture or the photograph of the paper once the texture has been imprinted on it. The objects become a way of reclaiming space, a way to reclaim them as my own, a recollection of my memory and a memento of my presence in that place where my gaze wanders for a couple of seconds, every day on my commute. In a sense counteracting the way in which cities function, through and despite the fear; as well as challenging my fear of open spaces by framing and recording my decoding of space with my presence in them. These imprints are then made using touch as a recording device.

Through these explorations, I make an allegory of photography where the imprints work as an index of a place, action, and presence. When focusing the lens on these non-places, they become a space on their own, and without these images, they function as fragments of elements that compose a city; questioning the value of an imprint and photography’s obsession with hyperrealism; does the experience of a place affect sense perceptions of reality when acting directly upon the physicality of it or when documenting it?

To view more of Vera Saldivar de Lira’s work please visit their website.