Detroit metro-based Brazilian artist and educator Vagner Mendonça Whitehead works with time-based and traditional media. His work employs original, appropriated and researched multilingual texts, found and created photo-based imagery, their translations and his interpretations as allegorical devices that reframe trans-cultural experiences vis-à-vis mass media and communication technologies.
Vagner has exhibited his work throughout the United States (AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, NM, NY, OH, OR, TX, VA, VT, WI), abroad (Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland) and online, in solo and group exhibitions and in video and film festivals.
Since Summer 2008 Vagner has been a member of the Detroit-based Changing Cities collective. He was an artist in residence at the Ragdale Foundation in 2002 and a fellow at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2006. In Summer 2010 he completed an artist residency at Residencia Corazon in La Plata, Argentina. In addition to presenting his works in regional and national conferences and meetings, Vagner has been a visiting artist at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, Lawrence, KS (2004); University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI (2005); San Jose State University, San Jose, CA (2006); Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL (2008); State University of New York-Cortland, Cortland, NY(2010); and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Carbondale, IL (2010).
Recent publications of his artwork include Photography Quarterly (#97, Fall 2008) and Nueva Luz (11:1, Summer 2006); Vagner is also a regular contributor at Barcelona-based Art Signal Contemporary Art Magazine. An interview with the artist was featured on Media-N Journal of the New Media caucus in Spring 2009 (link below). http://www.newmediacaucus.org/journal/issues.php?f=papers&time=2009_spring&page=mendoza Recent curatorial projects, featuring artists from around the world, include TERGLOBA and Contemporary Flânerie: Reconfiguring Cities at the Oakland University Art Gallery in Rochester, MI, in 2007 and 2009 respectively (catalogues available), and @ at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, CA in 2009 (video program curator and exhibition co-curator).
Vagner earned a BFA (photography) from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 1995 and an MFA (creative photography and electronic inter-media) from the University of Florida - Gainesville in 2000. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Oakland University, where he heads its New Media specialization. He previously held an Assistant Professor of Photography position at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Alongside his teaching and art-making, Vagner maintains two blogs, ART-SIGHT (exhibitions and current events) and E-TERVIEW (interviews).