Mexican Lomographer Xochitl Garcia a.k.a xoch_photosfera has been shooting film for a long time. Her film photography over the years has become a colorful quilt of varying techniques, utilizing different film emulsions and cameras to capture her everyday life. In the middle of a global pandemic, Xochitl decided to use her time to recall her prime images from 2007 to 2017 and curate them into a collection in the hope to repurpose them soon.
Xochitl was first introduced to the analogue medium when she was 8-9 years old. Her mother was a film hobbyist and often took photographs of her and her sister. She feels nostalgic for the memory that the medium brings, now it takes her back to her childhood.
“I remember with great affection the special sound of the camera shutter. In my teens she gave me a point and shoot camera and I felt in love with film photography, since that time I didn’t miss an opportunity to take pictures of special moments.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, Xochitl tries to enjoy the slowness that life brings. For her, the current situation has been a blessing in disguise, it allowed her some time to reflect on her surroundings: ”I have to say that is a little slow, less work and commissions hahaha, but at the same time the actual situation has given me the time to observe and analyze the panorama and rethink my role as a creator, I’m truly enjoying the new visions that can be born from my inner self!”
As such, she started to work on a retrospective of her best film works during the eight years she’s been shooting in analogue. Through eight years she has tried, tested and experimented with several films — with her own dawning realization that her best photographs were taken with her ver first SLR film camera — her trustworthy Canon AE-1P.
The potpourri of images were all taken in between 2007 to 2015, consisting shots of her travels, daily life, beloved objects and portraits. The potpourri now serves as a time capsule for her.
“It Is amazing how a photograph can teletransport us instantly to the place, remember the smells, weather and all the details of that memory.”
Xochitl believes that images should be able to trigger feelings, thoughts and actions. Like all forms of art, they should connect intimately to the viewer. Everything else about photography — the medium, the camera model or lens — all come secondary.
Well-versed and experimental in terms of her craft, Xochitl is a multidisciplinary artist and sees herself as a visual alchemist. Her range goes from color to collages. Some of her portrait and still life works also give us hints of influence from Graciela Iturbide and Flor Garduno — her archives of humanity, daily life and the inanimate speak much as to how she sees the world.
“For me inspiration can come from everything, I am constantly inspired from little details of my day by day, love, the perfection of nature, photographs on the web, paintings and art in general, music, books and even from how absurd and mysterious is to exist in this present moment as humans being. What I like most about life is that we will never really know the absolute truth, because there is none, each of us creates our own reality and that is what truly inspires me a lot, we are the engineers of our existence.”
Being the Lomographer that she is though, she dares to defy rules of aesthetics.
Xochitl continues to work on her film photography retrospective in hopes to make it a functional art collection. As the world continues to move at a slower pace, her generous desire to repurpose her art into something that other people will use shines in her.
“It’s been since forever I have wished to convert my film photographs in something useful for the people, in something beyond a photograph and my intuition is telling me this is the time, this is the moment to make my dreams come true.“