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.
Art critic Lucy Lippard gives an overview of issues that have galvanized Latino artists in the United States to take action; the most notable causes being migrant workers rights in the 1960s and ‘70s, protests against United States interventions in Central America in the 1980s, and immigration rights in the 1990s. Lippard contextualizes the group emergence of En Foco—photography collective—as initiated by political activism; so that she praises the institution for balancing its mission by recognizing the personal and aesthetic value of photography. Lippard discusses how En Foco’s consistent attention to the work of individual Latino photographers reveals that the memory, history, family, and storytelling are strong themes in their work. She observes that Latino photographers have refused to separate realms of the political from the spiritual, and many explore the dissonance between the visual and the verbal. Lippard concludes that photography is still accepted as truth, and is therefore a crucial medium for intercultural dialogue around issues of race, gender, language, and ethnicity in the United States.
In 1973, En Foco was founded by Charles Biasiny Rivera, Phil Dante, and Roger Caban as collective of Puerto Rican photographers living in New York City. In the 1980s En Foco’s mission expanded to include exhibiting works by artists from diverse ethnic heritages.
Lucy R. Lippard (b. 1937) is an internationally known writer, activist, and curator from the United States. Born in New York City, Lippard was among the first writers to recognize the theme of dematerialization in Conceptual art and was an early champion of feminist art. She is the author of eighteen books on contemporary art including Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America. Her essay was written to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of En Foco.