The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this complimentary document about the photographer from Puno, the writer José Uriel García describes Martín Chambi as a “neo-indigenous artist” whose ethnicity determines Chambi’s “intrinsic skills.” Drawing on his close connection with native people, the author defines the axiological parameters of Chambi’s photographic work. Quoting the Mexican mural artist David Alfaro Siqueiros, he claims that contemporary photographers see themselves as an “essential element of realist visual art.” Though Uriel García speaks highly of Chambi’s work, he challenges its idealism when he points out that it sometimes “strays into the romanticism favored by tourists and foreign photographers.” He also thinks the photographer lacks a “clearer political and doctrinaire vision to express to the public, rectifying its current false position.”
José Uriel García (1884–1965) was an intellectual of high standing in Cuzco. He was involved in the indigenist movement and was a close friend of Martín Chambi [Jiménez] (1891–1973). His article about the photographer from Puno (who lived in Cuzco) mentions some of the key ideas in his nationalist theory of “cultural miscegenation” as expressed in his influential book El nuevo indio (Cuzco: H. G. Rozas Sucesores Librería e Imprenta, 1930). It is interesting to compare Uriel García’s explanation of Chambi’s work with the article “El pintor peruano José Sabogal” [see in the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1136743)] published in La Prensa in Buenos Aires (March 22, 1936). In this most recent case, however, Uriel García resorts to historical determinism, but in Chambi’s case he is guided more by ethnic determinism.
[As complementary reading, see this other essay about the artist by Óscar Cerruto, “De la fotografía como función estética: En torno al artista cusqueño Martín Chambi” (doc. no. 1136726)].