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 writer of this article discusses some of the formal changes that photography must undergo in order to improve the presentation and subjects captured. To that end, he proposes that professional photographers abandon their studio props: “the stucco rocks, the impossible chairs, the horrible tables and the artificial seas and landscapes, and reach an understanding of their absolute ugliness.” He also insists that the amateur avoid driving his victims crazy in unnatural environments that may hurt their development or personality. The writer believes that good judgment must be used in [assigning] titles of the photograph as well. He is against the use of silly poems that are not even remotely connected to the photograph to which they are linked; in addition, he advocates avoiding bland titles or titles that are out of place. Moreover, the article recommends the use of good judgment in mounting prints—omitting those gilt lines that indicate bad taste—as well as in the choice of paper. Finally, the writer proposes that the same standards of simplicity be used in the choice of background and poses, shunning grotesque images and emphasizing that all elements of an image must be in harmony.
This article shows how some of the concepts of modernity were introduced into the photographic image. The anonymous writer’s rejection of overstuffing, both in the creation of the image and in the final presentation (with texts attached), conveys the importance of synthesis. Also significant is the way certain neoclassic concepts reappear in photography. This would be a period of transition between images with baroque accents and those that were starting to synthesize their aesthetic elements. The article helps us understand the coexistence of both styles in the photographic work of the early twentieth century. Iconography would undergo a fundamental change over the course of the Mexican revolution of 1910. The related imagery would be consolidated during the 1920s and would include the new participants in the society, who began to appear in post-revolutionary photography.