Based in Berlin Maximilian Virgili is a photographer and a photo editor. Two complementary activities: the first one allows him to transfer his own inspirations into concrete pictures, and the second brings him inspiration for his projects. During his three week trip to Mexico, he traveled to, with his girlfriend: Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Chiapas. From these travels, he brought with him an intimate series, a « travel essay », to have us discover the country and its inhabitants through his eyes.
Is it the love of travel and discovery in general that has driven you or influenced you on the path of photography
My urge to visit new countries has definitely shaped my relationship to photography, yes. The more I travel, the more I photograph – it has become a necessity more or less. I often find myself capturing something that emotionally hits me – something that reflects my process of self-awareness, my desires. After I expose my work to the public, there is always the hope that the viewer somehow feels these emotions and maybe mirrors them, or can at least grasp them. With this belief, I can somehow link myself to the viewer, which is very important to me.
Why have you chosen Mexico?
I always wanted to see Mexico, a lot of my friends travelled and some of them lived there. Friendly people, amazing culture and the food scene is beyond great.
Did you have an idea of what you wanted to photograph and what you thought you might find there?
No, not really. I never really plan to come back with certain photos beforehand, it never works out that way for me. If I pressure myself too much, the results won’t be good. What I do like to do is save certain motives in my brain that work for me in the first days and built up a series around it. I try to get a variety when traveling, but this totally depends on the situations I find myself in – sometimes I don’t take a single good picture in days and sometimes it’s a whole bunch in a couple of hours. I also like to think in pairs a lot, so sometimes I look for certain motives that work with a picture I already took.
Is this series for you the occasion to share your personal intimate representation of Mexico?
I won’t say it is a really deep intensive examination of my personal views towards Mexico as I got to see just a fraction of the country in little time. I would say it is a travel essay with a loose concept that briefly examines my superficial encounters with the culture and its people – based on my own photographic approach – which makes it very personal of course but is motivated by my curiosity as a stranger that doesn’t know anything about the country and its history. It would take a lot more time and research to create something deeply personal I think.
Can you tell more about the diﬀerent encounters you had there and what they brought you ?
We did quite a lot of tours that were ran by locals. I loved how considerate Méxicans were with their environment, a lot of trips were offered in very limited group sizes to prevent destruction and mass tourism (I guess this doesn’t apply to the Mayan ruins though…), preventing plastic whenever it was possible quite a huge issue. Wildlife habitats were respected highly when anticipated, eco-tourism is a big thing in México, which was great!
Do you have an idea of the next place you would like to go to?
Definitley want to go to Japan soon, also more of South America, especially Patagonia and Chile are on my list.