Women in La Familia
Part 1: Family Ritual -- Women (Lorenza/Mom)
Photography and Text by Javier "Heavy" Francisco
Edited by Therese Cervas
San Diego, California
IntroductionThese images are taken from a work in progress, a photo/ slide projection/ video installation that conceptualizes and presents the family photographs I have taken over the last 7 years. A "family ritual" are two words that visualize these images significance. Being the oldest out of six, children, I was responsible to care for my younger siblings from an early age and stand as an interpreter between my parents and the white world they needed to communicate with. This ritual my family and I have engaged in from an early age, has evolved to a different meaning. This is where I derive the significance of these photographs of my family and why I photograph them continuously. It is the responsibility I carry to look after and care for my family influences my desire to document and capture with my camera the change that may last for a moment or becomes a permanent element. This body of work has influenced my other photographic work and how I frame my subjects. -- Javier "Heavy" Francisco
The two photographs are images my siblings and I will always identify our mother with: a young woman who has endured a lot since her first child was born, almost twenty-five years ago. Looking at these photographs a person would not be able to know that our mother has given birth to six children.
Javier Heavy Francisco is the oldest of six children. His family has greatly influenced how he frames the world which he sees through his camera. Javier plans to continue photographing his family, urban spaces and people that remind him of his childhood. He also finds himself in transition from photographer to filmmaker. He recently integrated still and moving images together in Boys Suck. A film/ video that explores gender relations through a young girls perspective. In the present, he is pursuing a Masters of Fine Art in photography and in film at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where he hopes to produce more films/photographs and expand his visual language. He does this with the intent to teach others how to see the world through an apparatus.
Recently, Javier completed a video/ slide projection/ photography installation, which opened October 12, 1998, in the UCSD Graduate Art Gallery. The installation is his first attempt in trying to conceptualize and present the photographs he has taken of his family over the last seven years to a public audience. The installation utilizes two familiar family spaces: a backyard and a living room. Through utilizing these spaces, he wants the spectator to enter a state of familiarization and through the process explain how the photographs he creates of his family are the outcome of a ritual they engage in. This ritual is a reflection of the importance his family has played within his artistic career.
Curently, Javier is working on a short film about gentrification, through the perspective of a family. The story line is about a new neighbor who moves into a racialized urban space. The family that lives across the street becomes interested in finding out who the new neighbor is, and through the process, each member becomes aware of their racialized experience, and economical/class difference. At the end, the new neighbor does not know how to deal with his neighbors, which leaves the audience questioning if gentrification benefits the community. The is based on his own experience, with living across the street from Dennis Hopper, in Venices Oakwood Neighborhood.
|Published in In Motion Magazine March 4, 1999|
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