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 is an open letter written by David Alfaro Siqueiros to the Minister of Education Jaime Torres Bodet that explains the discrepancy between his humanistic, revolutionary discourse on the one hand, and the function of the Dirección de Educación Extraescolar y Artística headed by Carlos Pellicer on the other hand. Siqueiros does not think that the Dirección de Educación Artística is implementing the policies advocated in speeches made Torres Bodet, since all it does is organize mediocre exhibitions that provide no humanistic instruction as a governing structure. According to Siqueiros, the DEEA is guided by an intellectual and parasitic sissy mentality that is sometimes academic and frequently pseudo-modern. Siqueiros believes that if things are to change, a temporary national council of the visual arts should be appointed, which would advise a new administration. On the other hand, a collection of Mexican painting, sculpture and contemporary prints was grudgingly assembled into an exhibition called, “El drama de la guerra” [The Calamities of War]. The Centro Realista suggested a number of exhibitions with a solid thematic and theoretical theme. Unfortunately, these are stored in a crate. As its name suggests, the Artistic Administration should provide theoretical and practical reeducation for artists and general, full-time education for the general public.
The letter written in 1945 by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) coincided with the beginning of the Cold War. The theoretical proposals about the revolution and expressed by means of the Centro Realista were being questioned by an emerging group that had other goals for art. By that time most of the foreign artists seeking exile from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) had arrived, bringing with them new ways of making and producing art. The committees to decide on matters of art—that Siqueiros compares to military groups—were being condemned, and especially rebuffed when the idea that the committees be given permanent status by presidential decree was demanded.