Monica is a British-Mexican cultural interventionist non-fiction photographer. Born in Mexico City, of indigenous descent, and being a migrant, has deeply influenced her way of thinking and seeing. Sense of loss, insecurity, need for equality, internal chaos, transitioning between places, and the uneasiness that derives from it, play an important role in her work. Her projects are, at some level, acts of survival. A personal, private attempt that grows into a need of getting together with the public. Anchored to meticulous research, Monica’s works question the very essence of what moves things, and serve as intervention into the carving of socio-political apathy, as well as a way to break the biases and the current status quo.
In our ever-shifting world, in the midst of an ecological disaster, a sense of being at a tipping point has created an acute awareness for many. Transition, participation and need for equality are the core motivations of Monica’s mostly long-term projects. Interaction and participation with the public are indispensable to force a reflection around processes of interpretation, and become an intrinsic ground of her thinking and research path.
Aware that in the current fluid world, the only constant element is change, one aspect remains still throughout: the personal as a driving force to activate the collective. What, intimately keeps her going is to find and create ways of making ourselves, as a community, an active force that works towards a better society.
Monica’s creative thinking confronts current issues using photography, science and cutting edge technology and projects them onto socio-political scenarios, focusing on the ethics of image making, and the tension between images, context and ideology. Text written by Maria Teresa Salvati 'My Spot of Beauty - C41 Magazine'
Monica is currently a nominator for the Joop Swart Masterclass, is in the jury panels of The Royal Photographic Society - IPA165 and the Bar-Tur Award. She is a member of Women Photograph.
Awards & Collections
February 2021. Awarded Ampersand-Photoworks Residency.
January 2021. Shortlisted Aesthetica Art Prize.
June 2020. Nominated for a National Geographic Fellowship.
May 2020. Firecracker Grant.
August 2019. Lucie Foundation Scholarship. Chroma Luxe X Lucie Foundation Fine Art Scholarship Award.
July 2019. National Geographic Society - ARENA Award.
March 2019. Reviewers Choice. Format Festival Portfolio Review.
December 2018. Royal Photographic Society 100 Heroines.
March 2018. Shortlisted. New Discovery Award. Les Rencontres d'Arles.
January 2017. The Photographers' Gallery Bar-Tur Award. Winner.
May 2017. Magnum Graduate Photographers Award. One of ten winners.
March 2016. Screen Lab + Metro Imaging Mentorship Programme.
November 2015. Shortlisted for the SOLAS Photo Prize. Ireland. U.K.
June 2015. Shortlisted for the LUMA Book Award. Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles.
January 2015. Photobook on Mexico part of Joan Flasch Collection, Art Institute of Chicago Artist's book collection.
December 2014. Photobook on Mexico part of Museum of Modern Art, in New York and Yale Institute Gallery Artist's book collections.
November 2014. Danny Wilson Memorial Award / People's Choice. Installation on Mexico. Brigthon Photo Fringe.
August 2014. Nominated for the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award.
July 2014. MEAD Fellowship. University of the Arts London.
October 2014. SEE & DO Bursary. University of the Arts London.
Press & Talks
May 2020. Interview with Bindi Vora, Curator at Autograph.
April 2017. Folio Friday. Event organised by The Photographers Gallery and Steve Macleod.
March 2015. Gemma Padley for The Telegraph. Review on my installation Red Mist and co-curated show Media & Myth: Mass Media and the Vietnam War, alongside The Forensic Turn curated by Paul Lowe.
March 2015. Format Festival. Talk with co-curator Lewis Bush on Media & Myth: Mass Media and the Vietnam War.
March 2015. London College of Communication. Panel talk. Designing your career.
March 2015. Talk for SUARTS, University of the Arts London. Career Development day for Xhibit15.
March 2014. London College of Communication. Blogpost on my Mexico photobook acquired for international artist book collections.
May 2014 Hotshoe International. Blog. Interview on my installation & photobook on Mexico.
May 2014. BBC. Telling stories with pictures. Review by Picture Editor Phil Coomes.
October 2014. 13 Emerging Artists exhibting at Multiplied, Christie's London. The Resident Magazine.
May 2014. In Converstaion with Paul Lowe. Showroom High Holborn. Supported by Made in Arts London.
May 2014. What use is a book of photographs. Main Lecture Theatre. London College of Communication.
September - November 2020. Backlight, Tampere Art Museum, Finland.
July-August 2019. Gibellina Photoroad. Palazzo di Lorenzo.
July-September 2019 The Royal Photographic Society. Bristol, U.K. Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond, showcasing Ascension.
July-August 2019 Photo-Ireland at Instituto Cervantes. Dublin, Ireland.
November 2018. Mattatoio Contemporary Art. Emerging Talents. Rome, Italy.
October 2018. Schiedam International Photo Festival. The Netherlands.
September 2018. Organ Vida. House of Architecture. Zagreb.
June-September 2018. Les Recontres d'Arles. New Discovery Award.
November 2017. Parallel Platform for Contemporary European Photography. Lisbon, Portugal.
October 2017 Noorderlicht Festival. Astro 2030 Installation. Noorderlicht, The Netherlands.
Sept 2017 GETXOPHOTO Festival. Astro 2030 Installation. Getxo, Spain.
March 2017 FORMAT Festival, Quad. Astro2030 Installation. Derby, U.K.
July - Nov 2016 Cork Photo Gallery. Mexico installation part of Culture Night Cork.
October 2016 Brighton Photo Fringe. Outdoor Hub. Group show-shortlist for Open 16.
Jun - Jul 2016 Warm Festival, Sarajevo. Between Headlines. Curator. Group exhibition with works by Dominic Bracco, Yael Martinez, Jeremy Relph and Monica Alcazar-Duarte.
April 2016 'On the Overwhelming Importance of the Far Future' Group show Intersection. Made in Arts London. University of the Arts London.
Jan-Apr 2016 The Showroom Gallery, UAL. Installation 'On the Overwhelming Importance of the Far Future'. MEAD Fellows and Scholars Showcase. London.
July 2015 Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles. Cosmos Arles Books. Photobook on Mexico shortlisted for the LUMA Dummy Book Award.
July 2015 Warm Festival, Sarajevo. Media and Myth: Mass Media and the Vietnam War. Co-curated with Paul Lowe and Lewis Bush.
March 2015. East Wing Gallery. Dubai. Collaboration with Edmund Clark. Video installation 'Dulce et Decorum Est' presented as part of Surveillance .02 a show curated by Liza Faktor and Anna Van Lenten.
Mar - Apr 2015. Format Festival. Derby, U.K. Media and Myth: Mass Media and the Vietnam War Co-curated with Paul Lowe and Lewis Bush. Also exhibiting Installation on Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Hundred Years Gallery. London, U.K.
Dec. 2014. Lethaby Gallery. Central Saint Martins. Photobook on Mexico and limited edition prints. Made in Arts London. Kings Cross. London.
Nov. 2014. Paris Photo. Polycopies. Photobook on Mexico.
Oct. - Nov. 2014 Brighton Photo Biennal. Photobook Show. Photobook on Mexico. Jubilee Library, Brighton, U.K.
Oct. - Nov. 2014. Brighton Photo Fringe. Where We Stand v.2 Installation on Mexico. Group show. Vantage Point. Brighton, U.K.
16-20 October 2014. Christie's / Multiplied Photobook on Mexico & limited edition prints. Made in Arts London.
9-19 October 2014. Media and Myth: Mass Media and the Vietnam War Co-curated with Paul Lowe and Lewis Bush. Also exhibiting Installation on Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Hundred Years Gallery. London, U.K.
July 2014. KALEID 2014. Photobook and Installation. The Art Academy. London.
June 2014. Vienna Photobook review
May 2014. Where We Stand. Degree show. Installation & Photobook on Mexico. Main Gallery London College of Communication.
May 2014. Bigger, Brighter and Bolder. Showroom. University of the Arts London. Photobook on Mexico with Made in Arts London.
2012 - 2014 MA Documentary Photography London College of Communication. Distinction.
2002 - 2003 MA Performance Design & Practice Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. Merit.
2001. AAS Architecture. Parsons School of Design. NYC.
2000. BA Filmmaking. Mexico City.