Francis Almendárez is an interdisciplinary artist who traverses the intersections of history, ethnography and the arts, using them as tools to address memory and trauma, specifically of migrant and queer bodies of Central American and Caribbean diasporas, in attempt to make sense of and re-construct identity. Being the product of a family of intergenerational migrants and having to frequently re-locate due to financial instability, he attempts to transform spatiotemporal dislocation and intersectionality into agency, resistance and autonomy by vocalizing and embodying the experiences of the marginalized, disenfranchised, or liminal Other. His work, ranging from video installation to performance and text, incorporates music and storytelling, and brings to the foreground time, labor and rhythm. Combining personal narratives with those of his grandmother, Almendárez uses the biographical to collapse and juxtapose past, present and future, subtly touching upon underlying, overlapping and recurring themes from postcolonialism to migrant labor to gender roles and motherhood. Working from the vantage point of both insider and outsider, he observes, he listens, and he collects. Then, he transforms the material from the personal to the political – and finally – to the poetic, in the effort to re-present and re-historicize alterity, and provide an alternative to the dominant Western narrative.
Almendárez has participated in national and international exhibitions and screenings including Nuestro Hogar: Francis Almendárez and Ana Fernandez, Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston, TX (2019); The Potential Wanderer, The Reading Room, Dallas, TX (2019); Voices of Our Mothers: Transcending Time and Distance, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX (2018); Sisyphus, Ver.20.18, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2018); Family Reunion, Pi Artworks, London, UK (2017); Videosubbota-2, CCI Fabrika, Moscow, Russia (2017); and Le Paradis, un peu plus loin, GALERIE DIX9, Paris, France (2017). Almendárez is the recipient of a Houston Artadia Award (2018), the Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography (2018), and a participant of the ICA Moscow Summer School (2015). Almendárez received an MFA in Fine Art (with Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London (2016) and a BFA in Sculpture/New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design (2013). He was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and is currently living and working in Houston, TX.