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.
Diego Rivera champions the collective genius given to the Mexicans, which has been the source of hundreds of thousands of works, made by the individuals that make up the Mexican people. The temporary nature of this artwork has characterized it since prehistoric times, though interrupted by the oppressors during the conquest. The tradition of “los judas” [huge puppets] is added to traditions of Easter Saturday, a feast day in the Catholic calendar. “Los judas” are artworks destined to annihilation, to be sacrificed, blown up for the pure happiness and mere diversion of the people. They are conceived and executed by carpenters, bricklayers, stevedores, peasants, with no artistic purpose other than play: what will happen when the works are burned. Their structures are made up of giant reeds, and they are made of humble materials that are highly fragile, strengthened by the paper that lines them, generally newsprint. “Los judas” are a great lesson for Mexican artists.
Diego Rivera (1886–1957) sees a great lesson for artists in popular arts, since popular artwork is ephemeral and does not have high market value. The work is anonymous and the design of each work is often based on a pattern. To Rivera, these creative inventions by the people were valuable, and he would use them as a basis for his paintings. The photographs that accompany the article, taken by Lola Álvarez Bravo, show a sequence in the process of manufacturing “los judas.”