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.
This article analyzes the photographs exhibited by Emilio Amero at the Galería de Arte Moderno (GAM) under the Dirección de Acción Educativa [Educational Activities Office] of the Departamento del Distrito Federal [DDF, Mexico City-City Hall]. Though the writer is anonymous, he/she is knowledgeable about photographic art. The story discusses Amero’s training as a painter and filmmaker and in his new facet as a photographer, which is enhanced by his prior knowledge. The exhibition gathered together 30 photographs that, according to the writer, presented an aesthetic opposed to what was typical of Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, or Manuel Álvarez Bravo. In the writer’s opinion, Amero arranges the image as a modern artist would, with delicate plays of lines, balance, shadows, and masses, among other camera-based techniques. He/she sees the artist’s surest touch in the works created through multiple exposures, which could very well come from Amero’s experience in cinema. In addition, the glass pieces, inclined planes, or superimpositions seemed to be the most successful images. The writer ventures that probably few people would like Amero’s takes—especially those who are not photography buffs or who are specialists accustomed to the aesthetic of the “Californian photographer,” as Weston is called. Finally, the text invites the photographer to tell more about life in Mexico, its internal aspects from a universal optical point of view, and about a “nationalism of expansion,” as he calls it. This critical exercise ends by praising the work of Amero, who, in his/her opinion, is bringing new value to Mexican aesthetics. Moreover, the article believes that visual arts experiments of this kind are the source of new expressive forms in art, thus contributing new forms and approaches to Mexican art.
This article was one of the first news items on the photography exhibition mounted by Emilio Amero (1901–1976) upon his return to Mexico, after several trips to other countries around the world. In Amero’s work, the writer perceived the aesthetic of modernity that was the trend of that time, given the presence of photographers in Mexico with the stature of Edward Weston (1886–1958) and Tina Modotti (1896–1942). While both had a strong influence on the aesthetic spirit of Mexican photographers, Mexicans came to question this type of avant-garde in their own search for new visual discourse for photography. As the anonymous writer states, Amero’s training as a painter and filmmaker augmented his approach to visual arts, leading him to new ways of capturing images with a camera and telling stories by printing them on photographic paper. Moreover, the essay gives detailed descriptions of some works presented in the exhibition, allowing familiarity with this kind of production that were previously lost to photographic history.