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From Street to Storage: 'Grupo de Fotografos Independientes' in the Personal Archives of Armando Cristeto

Authors: Birkhofer, Denise
Keywords: photography;Mexico;Cristeto, Armando
Issue Date: 14-Feb-2011
Abstract: This talk will relate my experiences working with the personal photography archives of Armando Cristeto, a photographer and historian living in Mexico City. Cristeto was a member of the photography collective known as the Grupo de Fotografos Independientes, one of the numerous cooperatives of artists known as Los Grupos proliferating during the late 1970s in Mexico. Founded by Cristeto's brother Adolfo Patino, the Fotografos sought to reach new audiences by taking their exhibitions out onto the street, where their works could interact with the urban context and be appreciated by new classes of people. Their exhibitions were installed along the sidewalks of Mexico City, employing clothesline to hang their photographic prints, or were even paraded through the streets on wheeled carts. This ephemeral and interactive method of display bordered on the performative, and carried an institutional critique in the avoidance of traditional exhibition venues. Due to the transient nature of the practices of the Fotografos Independientes, research in 'hidden archives' like Cristeto's is essential to understanding the group's production. This paper will explore how the activities of the Fotografos can be reconstructed through the assembly of photographic documentation preserved in Cristeto's archives, including the images produced by the group's members themselves in addition to photographic records of their temporary exhibitions and events. This research comprises a part of my doctoral dissertation, which considers the theme of 'the street' in photography in Mexico City after 1968.
Rights: Copyright Denise Birkhofer 2011.
Appears in Collections:Photo Archives and the Photographic Memory of Art History, part III

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