The world of photography has gone from mechanical and chemical to digital, but that doesn’t mean we have all forgotten its past.
I still have photo albums full of pictures I haven’t scanned, and even those I have digitized, I know I should make sure I have them backed up in more than one device. In the world of images, there are those we hold dear because they represent part of our memory, and there are some which have informed us, caused sadness, shock, anger or enticement to buy a product.
On the corner of Colima and Cordoba, a few blocks from the Insurgentes subway station is the Museum of the Object of the Object (I’m not repeating myself, that’s the name, or MODO for short). Their current exhibiton is titled “175 years of photographic objects: From the daguerreotype to the selfie,” which includes an extensive collection of cameras, pictures and objects related to the capturing of images.
The history of photography in Mexico is a major part of the exhibition. There are photos from early Mexican studios like Cruces and Campa Studio which operated between 1862 to 1877, photos from the first recognized female photographer in Mexico, Maria Santibanez, and iconic photographs from Francisco Mata Rosas, one of the most renowned Mexican photographers of our time.
As I roamed each section I could see and hear the different reactions people had to the exhibition. The younger generations were most interested in the modern part of the show where people can take their own pictures with a series of frames and cutout photographs. The exhibition has a hashtag #fotoMODO so people can show their own pictures on instagram.
For digital immigrants, it was a blast from the past to see the older cameras. “I had a camera like that!” I would hear a woman say. “We used to make pictures that way!” Another woman would say to her friend, describing the development process that is now a dying art.
Photos have developed their own story in 175 years, and the exhibition at MODO shows it all, from portraits of important figures, to documenting history, selling products, becoming household items recording birthdays and special moments to current times when we can take a picture of our lunch.
The exhibition will run until March 29, 2015. MODO is open Wed-Sunday from 10 to 6pm, Colima 145, Mexico City, 5533-9637, http://elmodo.mx