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 article, Aragón Leyva defends the artistic qualities relevant to photography. In a rapid analysis ranging from scientific to technical discourse about the image, the writer points out the specific characteristics of photographic creation. After making observations about popular photographers, he then turns to art photographers and the recent trends of the period. These trends were unexpectedly brought to their zenith by the images of Edward Weston, whom he calls an “animistic, delicate poet . . . the St. Augustine of Mexican photography.” The article then turns to the figure of Tina Modotti, whom he values because “her personality is to be found in her own depersonalization.” He also introduces Manuel Álvarez Bravo as a “delicate fetishist,” then Agustín Jiménez, whom he describes as an “extrovert.” Leyva focuses his comments on the capacity of photography to be turned into an instrument of humanity.
This is an essay that understands and clearly conveys the time of change experienced in photography at the end of the 1920s. Specifically, it opens up a dialectical debate between art and technique. The presentation of these photographs tells us of the interest they stirred up in that period, because of the images and the daring form with which they were rendered.