Mexican Modernity: Vintage Postcards from the 1920’s
Exhibit: Monday, April 29th – Monday, May 20th
Reception: Thursday, May 2nd, 5-8 pm
During the 1920s, a decade that ended with a worldwide economic crash, Mexico was a country reaching for modernity, the elusive concept of the modern age. It was a reach towards a time of rapid transit, a time of trains, airplanes, and first skyscrapers, a time of activity literally scratching the firmament above urban centers such as Mexico City. But for Mexico there has always been a clash between the ideal and the reality, between the dream and the concrete. This exhibit explores the intrepid photography from a company known mostly by its initials CIF. With their photographic contributions Compania Industrial Fotografica captured the wide breadth of what was, is and has always been Mexico.
The collection of postcards on display reveals a Mexico in conflict with its rigid, catholic sensibilities, a country tied to their past, but that dreams of a modern, idealized future. The Mexican Revolution, a conflict from 1910-1920, had just ended and the nation was liberated in mind and body from a decade of struggle and repression. These postcards revealed another face of Mexico: the wild extravagant expression of a generation peering over the edge at the abyss of modernity.
Curators: Alejandro Murguia* and Carolyn Ho
Assistant Curator: Anna Elizabeth Escobedo
Photo Editor: Brenda Lopez
Sponsored by: Raza Faculty Staff Association, Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, Cesar Chavez Student Center – Special Events, SFSU College of Ethnic Studies, The San Francisco Mexican Consulate, Archivo General de la Nacion Mexico D.F., and SFSU Campus Copy Center
*Postcard and images generously on loan through the private collection of Alejandro Murguia