Las Cruces artist Marcus Xavier Chormicle navigates the loss of family and culture by examining ongoing hardships within his family.
“Still Playing With Fire is a long-term photographic project about my own family and our individual and communal history within southern New Mexico. Through a pseudo-documentary approach to photographing my family and the land around Las Cruces, I interrogate the generational trauma of my family and the cycles of violence and suffering that have followed us in the context of dominant narratives of white supremacy in Colonial Spain, Imperial Mexico, and through the current occupation of the land by the United States of America.
Through photography, I navigate the loss of family and culture through the examination of ongoing hardships within my family. Beginning with the death of my paternal grandfather, an enrolled Agua Caliente Cahuilla man who was shot by Las Cruces police officers while in custody, to the murder of my uncle in 2019, and through the recent death of my little cousin from an overdose. I make this work as a means of tracking, documenting, interpreting, and working through the enormous pain that has lived in my people and family for generations and is passed down with every new birth.
The imagery frequently invokes the body and serves as an excuse to work through some of the deepest issues that prevail among my family members. The collage is meant as a backdrop for the images. The collage pattern is made of photos of my Uncle Punky who was killed in 2019. The intention is to create a space that is literally made of and for my family, in which our issues and triumphs can live and be seen for what they are, in the hopes that we can move through them as a family and a community.”
Las Cruces, NM | chormicle.com | ig: @chormicle | Cristian Anthony Vallejo Memorial Gallery, Las Cruces