Preface to NAMOC “Activation of Classic Collections” Series Exhibition: NAMOC Collected Pedro Meyer Photography Works Exhibition
Pedro Meyer, founder and chairman of the Mexican Council of Photography, is an important representative of the world modern photography. In his photographic career that lasts for more than 50 years, he has formed his own style with splendid photographic works of unique visions and constant changes, covering social documentary photography through digital art images.
Pedro, a Jewish descent, was born in Spain and soon afterwards migrated to Mexico. He completed college education in the United States and returned to Mexico. He has made profound thinking and exploration of the characteristic culture of Latin America with his own photographic art, and formed deep and spiritually powerful image language. He keeps piety and respect to the rich and diverse cultural forms and values of Mexico, fully expressing the performances of the native people in the conflict, collision, integration and mixture of the Indian culture, European culture and colonial culture in the social environment featuring coexistence of the modern and traditional, poverty and luxury, and primitive and civilization in Mexico. Pedro has made unremitting exploration of the national cultural spirit of Mexico and Latin America with his photography, and built up the representative thought of Mexican photography. He is a well-deserved leader of Mexican modern photography.
Pedro won his status and reputation in the photography circles with his social documentary photography in his early years. Later, he complied with the tide of digital imaging revolution brought about by the electronic technology, and stepped on the digital creation path. On the surface, the historical change of the photography form is a change of technology from chemistry to electronic photographic imaging. But the underlying is the profound evolution of the photographic ideas. Pedro is a pioneer taking the lead to introduce digital revolution and apply the new technologies in Mexico.
“I think the most important point that the real and fictitious meet is to break the myth of photography and express the truth that was never discovered before.” Pedro creatively freezes the “truth” of series of photos in traditional documentary photography in the “decisive moment” single photograph “truth” of Henri Cartier-Bresson. This is the concept backing Pedro in his creation of “new documentary consciousness” digital image works. Meanwhile, in Pedro’s concept of image creation, no matter it is a real-time photography shot on the spot, or the synthetic photograph processed under a variety of techniques, he believes that “a photo is a photo and no more than a photo.” In this sense, any photo or image is actually a media appearance of physical properties, not the truth itself. “Finding and making images” are the profession that a photographer must keep to. The works produced through “finding and making images” are actually artistic works, whether they are documentary or fictitious.
In 2006, NAMOC had the honor of receiving 110 pieces of photography works donated by Pedro to enrich its collection of international photography. The current exhibition selects some of the donated works to allow Chinese audiences to appreciate the artistic elegance of the Mexican photographer, and show respect to Pedro for his generous donation.