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.
The text by Carlos Argüelles that precedes the photographs taken by the photojournalists Faustino Mayo and Nacho López shows the transformation of Mexican photography in the mid-twentieth century. This photo-essay presents photographs of great visual value, from their technical aspects to their formal solutions, with brand-new framing and various angles. These innovative images captured the process of constructing one of the most important buildings at the time: the Torre Latinoamericana. The approach to images taken from the 32nd floor of the 40 floors to be built also tells of a new way of looking at modernity. The text written by Argüelles allows the reader to identify these Mexican images brimming over with innovation. It suggests the great value of photographs to take viewers up amidst the scaffolding and to show the compositional richness of the unusual perspective obtained at such heights. While the text primarily focuses on visual story rendered by the photographs, it also tells how they capture—from the heights—a city being transformed and entering into the modern world of skyscrapers. In fact, mid-twentieth-century Mexico City is shown undergoing a major transition, its colonial essence side by side with this drastically changing urban image. The notes below the photographs are very apt, describing the efforts made by these graphic artist/photojournalists.
This compelling text gives a specific context to the story rendered by two of the most distinguished photographers of the 1940s whose handling of photographic and written language was very effective. It features the aesthetics of a period in transition—not just of the city, but also, specifically, of photography. This was done by presenting a series of images that were very innovative for the time, a photo-essay created by four hands. The photographers who took on this assignment concentrated on finding unusual visual angles and made use of the aesthetics of the fragment. They also established a dialogue between the old city and the contemporary one, with the construction of the tallest building in Latin America to date. The photographs published have great documentary value along with strong aesthetic content.