Desert sea

Angélica Escoto

2002 - 2016

México, Mexico

I choose the Baja California Peninsula to reflect on the meaning and existence of a desert as an analogy of a personal process. Desert sea is an internal gaze through photography; it’s the physical footprint of a unique source: memory.

On that inhospitable landscape, my photographic pulse presented itself as a deliberate desire to escape from an urban routine and it is not until eight years later when I go over my negatives that I discover that in Desert sea, I find the support to my memory as photography and my photography as memory.

The images form a exploratory chronicle of an exotic realm on that unique and dramatic ecosystem that’s full of infinite surprises. The complexity of its beauty structures my stern monologue about the duality of being a mother and I balance in that pure and presumptuous light the cycles of abundance and scarcity of my feelings.

“Where does the trip begin?” asks Cavafis on his famous poem to Ithaca, and he answers to his amazement, that the journey itself is the essence of the trip.

I receive the desert in my eyes on the long and never ending family trips and on the way, I decide to contemplate it with my analog camera. The enjoyment of the wait for this photographic act intertwines intimately with the landscape: symbol of creation, introspection, immensity, solitude, death, phantoms and mirages.

On this “biological island”, with an amazing and extravagant habitat, I structure my clashes and discover the sexuality on the flora, the strength and fragility of the fauna, the routine flavored games of my daughters on a dream-like diary, and the uneasy feeling of being between the edge of the sea and the desert.

“Desert sea” is a life voyage. My two daughters, Tony—my partner, and I have traveled through the Baja California peninsula since 2002 three times a year uninterruptedly, without ever rushing the arrival, as Cavafis suggests.

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