Time, transcendence, and human identity

Time is transient, it is fleeting. We experience it, use it, abuse it, even fear it, but my concern here is sequences of events as I witness them and manage to collect them through the lens. Though I will attempt to guide the attention and with it a state of mind and emotion, each of you will experience these slices and fractions of frozen moments as differently as your personality and individuality allow. It is not a philosophical exploration about time; no, it’s about my personal visual voyage towards a collection of short-lived simulacra of occurrences worth their weight in words the mind and heart can only perceive. 

The obsession with capturing moments to visualize later or share with others doesn’t just say a lot about who we are as persons but also describes something about the human condition that has enamoured my thoughts and imagination. Through photographic imagery, we create transcendence communicating moments and events for future generations and more. Not surprisingly, I discover humanity’s obsession with eternity, the need to keep the present going and to relive it. There is something else, more striking: a ceaseless exercise of awareness, a pursuit of truths and lessons in the details we encounter from day to day. 

Over the years, I have theorized about what has drawn me towards photography. I know what I tell myself: that it allows me to connect to the world around me and communicate that connection to others. Sometimes I feel there is something deeper. Perhaps it's my obsession with my own brevity; or perhaps at the metacognitive level, it's a mirroring of the self-flexible exploration of diurnal events and moments that sometimes take place when I am alone with my thoughts at the end of the day.  Maybe it's all of the above and something more I have yet to discover as my understanding of self grows.

One thing is certain, photography has furnished me a window to my soul while providing a glimpse into the lives of others as I observe their eyes, their interactions, and the sense of being they project onto their surroundings. 

Photography has served me realize that ideas and labels —like the flags we pledge allegiance to— are arbitrary constructs we use to engender a sense of self and identity.  It's human to classify things and people into categories, but as humans, we have the potentiality to shatter these barricades and empathise, if we elect to. Photography can be an instrument to reach out and grant others a chance to expose a facet of their soul. This disclosure, so to speak, can inform our perceptions of others destroying stereotypes while providing a  cognizant —though always limited— vision of the world.


Here are some folks that mentally stimulate me to create, and improve, my photography. Their work is truly like drawing in a breath of fresh air.

Todd Gross (Quarlo)

Jonas Eriksson (Minimodi)

James Nachtwey

Przemek Strezelecki (Bawgaj)

Jez Coulson (Jezblog)

Gary Winogrand

William Eggleston

Dorothea Lange

Walker Evans

Diane Arbus

Joel Meyerowitz

Markus Hartel

Saul Leiter

John Agoncillo

Alec Soth


Discovery Channel

Cambridge University Press

Architectural Review 

Revista Rara (Guatematala)

Random House (Germany)

The New Yorker

Turibus (Mexico City)

Indiana University


Cologne University (Germany)


Contact Information

Luis Arcadio De Jesus - Mexico City

Mobile: (Mexico City) / E-mail: luis.arcadio.de.jesus@gmail.com

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