My fascination with Mexico, the country of my maternal ancestry
began in early childhood. Although my father was a gringo and
I was born and lived in Texas, our daily home life on the Mexican
border was solidly defined by Mexican culture and Catholicism.
Frequent travel throughout Mexico was a family tradition that
became a constant in my personal life. In the late 70's, while
on a group expedition to collect and photograph rare orchids
in the jungles of southern Mexico, I began to recognize the
great variation among Mexican indigenous folk cultures; each
dominion was represented by a visually rich, original style
that radiated it's identity. This epiphany led me to begin exploring
Mexico's cultural fabric, ultimately becoming an obsessive quest
resulting in my Essence of Mexico Project, in which I photographed
the important festivals of each of Mexico's more than 60 indigenous
folk cultures as they existed in the final decade of the millennium.
am working concurrently on several projects related to my continued
photographic endeavors. The images in this portfolio are the
facet of my work, which I consider to be experimental. CORAZON
FUSILADO, curated from the EMBRUJO MEXICANO COLLECTION, is the
product of my frequent downtime, countless hours and days holed
up in a shabby little apartment in Houston, waiting for the
next spurt of funding that would allow me to resume my work
in the field. My method of creating the images was to manually
superimpose transparencies in an attempt to discover juxtaposed
realities. When I began experimenting with this technique, I
was amazed to find that the subjects in the images could be
made to bleed, burn, and actually transmit emotion. Indeed,
I began to measure the success of an image by the degree of
my analeptic response to it; which is to say, by the excitement
that it evoked in me - a racing heart, accelerated breathing
and sometimes even gooseflesh.
the images presented here are dark. My fascination with the
superstitious side of folk culture, with its pantheon of supernatural
allies and demons, is no doubt responsible. The images address
universal human issues such as the realities of wounds, blood,
fear, the magic inherent in superstition, religion and religious
fanaticism, sacrifice, political despotism and injustice, war,
pestilence, death and bizarre social phenomena. Some are meant
to satirically caricaturize by exploring notions of non-fixed
morality and ethics. to be arbitrated by the viewer.
of the images were shot in Mexico City over the last 25 years,
I had initially meant to address its bleak contemporary urban
realities. however, as I continue to discover juxtaposed visual
and contextual scenarios, I realize that Mexico City has now
become a portal through which to observe these universal issues.
Ultimately, these images are a commentary on the "signs
of the times"; the apocalyptic realities faced by the world
during the Postmodern Age.
O. Jackson, Jr.
May 24, 2003