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 text, Manuel Álvarez Bravo considers the development of Adget (sic) as a photographer and the life experiences, warmth, and creativity reflected in his unique ability to see what is around him. He notes that Adget had no training in the arts, but only as a circus performer. Álvarez Bravo highlights the photographer’s simple technique, which was completely different from the theoretical complexity of the production in Paris at the time. In short, he comments on the difficulty of evaluating Atget’s work and photography by and large, due to the existing prejudices about the hierarchy of the arts.
This text provides knowledge about the ideas of this leading figure in modern photography in Mexico—Atget—and the parameters that he considered significant. Such ideas were disseminated in the publication of the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas under the directorship of painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano (1895–1971), who was also editor of the journal. The article includes several inaccuracies, both in the spelling of Atget’s name (which Álvarez Bravo spells “Adget”) as well as in his biography, since Atget was indeed a painter and actor before he was a photographer. Also, although there are works involving circus motifs, no documentation exists about Atget’s training as a circus performer. However, Atget’s work was unquestionably important to Álvarez Bravo as a pattern of keen observation and a photographic record of the details of daily urban life.