Yesterday, I got a sneak peek at SFMOMA’s upcoming photo
exhibit, "Photography in Mexico." Man, you
guys are in for a solid show.
Enrique Metinides, "Rescate de un ahogado en Xochimilco con público
reflejado en el agua," (Retrieval
of a drowned body from Lake Xochimilco with the public reflected in the water),
1960; gelatin silver print; 13 3/4 x 20 3/4 in.; San Francisco Museum of
Modern Art, Anonymous Fund purchase; © Enrique Metinides
The installation captures life in Mexico with an artistic
edge, spanning political and cultural reconstruction of the 1920s to the current turmoil in US-bordering locales. Jessica McDonald, curator of the
collection, is excited to present a really solid set of shutterbugs and their
crafts. She says the exhibition is a work in progress, because it’s meant to
continually raise awareness about the lives of the Mexican people and the
political injustices they suffer on the daily. The installation not only features images shot in Mexico, but especially showcases Mexican photographers and their point of view with realist, mostly-black and white documentary photography. An expertise SFMOMA is definitely known for.
Nacho López, "Constructores de ataúdes,
Calle Nonoalco, Ciudad de México" (Coffin Manufacturers, Nonoalco Street,
Mexico City), 1959; printed later; gelatin silver print; 10 1/4 in. x 8 3/4
in. (26.04 cm x 22.23 cm); Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art;
© Estate of Nacho López
Some highlights of the collection include Rodrigo
Moya's portrait of Che Guevara ("Che melancólico, La Habana, Cub"), Mexican photographer Mariana
Yampolsky's shot "En la tienda," and Manuel Álvarez Bravo's 1934
masterpiece "Obrero en huelga, asesinado."
Alejandro Cartagena, "Fragmented Cities, Juarez #2" from the series Suburbia Mexicana, 2007;
inkjet print; 20 x 24 in.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions
Committee Fund purchase; © Alejandro Cartagena
My favorite print was an
image of an immigrant's "drop point", shot in San Diego county's Oceanside, CA - only about a
15-minute drive from where I grew up. The surreal image was captured in Mexican
photojournalist Susan Meiselas' "11:00 de la mañana, 'punto de bajada'
cerca de la antopista estatal 5, Oceanside, California" from the series Cuceros. So trippy. You'll
have to check out the exhibit to witness it in person.
Graciela Iturbide, "La Nuestra Senora de las Iguanas, Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico" (Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitan, Oxaca, Mexico), 1979; gelatin silver print; 17 5/16 x 14 7/16 in.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the artist; © Graciela Iturbide
The stunning collection opens to the public on Saturday and runs until
July 8th. The SFMOMA's free on the first Tuesday of each month, and there's a
bunch of excellent upcoming events celebrating Photography in Mexico
that you can check out on the SFMOMA site.