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.
With his manifesto, David Alfaro Siqueiros sought to position the avant-garde project anew, doing away with belated modernism and impressionism, in favor of Cubo-Futurist expressions and the incipient eruption of Dadaism. This eagerness for restriction had its counterpart in his proposal to accept an indigenous inheritance as a revitalizing element. In his judgment, Paul Cézanne was still the guiding figure. Regarding the quest for a pure art, Siqueiros emphatically declared: “¡Universalicémonos!, que nuestra natural fisonomía racional y local aparecerá en nuestra obra, inevitablemente”. [Let us become universal! so that our natural, rational and local physiognomy may inevitably appear in our work.]
Although David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) distanced himself from fads such as "indianism," "primitivism," and "Americanism," his noteworthy and early manifesto of 1921 brought a more subtle means into play for rendering the native communities even more exotic: their capacity for synthesis of form. Siqueiros insists on the recuperation of racial elements, a problem that was very much alive in those countries that retained a strong native community that had survived the process of both conquest and assimilation. The city of Barcelona occupied a peripheral space in the European avant-garde, especially as compared to Paris. The art critic Raquel Tibol (1923-2008) circulated a document called "Tres llamamientos de orientación actual a los pintores y escultores de la nueva generación americana", [Three Appeals for the Current Guidance of the New Generation of American Painters and Sculptors]; it was published in the only issue of Vida Americana [American Life] (Barcelona, May 1921). Fragments of this manifesto were also published in other journals; complete versions were published in periodicals with more restricted printing runs. This declaration by Siqueiros is usually taken as the beginning of the post-revolutionary avant-garde in Mexico. (Regarding the manuscript version of this important text, see doc. no. 737428).