"Collector of Images, the photographic prospect of Franz Mayer. International networks of photographic practice and imaginary: Mexico - Germany"
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kummels (FU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack (Universität Bonn), Prof. Dr. Deborah Dorotinsky (UNAM), Prof. Dr. Margit Kern (Universität Hamburg)
Since the late nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century, Latin America, began to witness an increase in the number of visitors from abroad. Travelers in Mexico and, in particular, those who arrived with a camera, are controversial figures that undoubtedly represent an essential part of the history of cultures, the images and imaginaries. They are a key figure of a singular way to see “the mexican” environment by “the other”.
Franz Mayer, a renowned collector of decorative arts in Mexico, was also an active traveler who visited several roads and towns of Mexican, South American, European, African and even Asia. Photo albums made by him of “folkloric” portraits, landscapes, shots of his travels and all that was attractive to him make up his visual heritage. This research focuses on the modes of production, acquisition and organization that Mr. Mayer had concerning his photographic collection. It is important to find out about cross-cultural implications that involve photographic representations in those images and in his practice, concerning the particular perspective that Mayer had about the "new space" as well as how to interpret and represent it symbolically with visual language. In this sense, his visual collection is of utmost importance, not only for its graphic quality, but also for its historic value both in the field of history of photography as the social history through photography. The cultural and heritage qualities of photographic artifacts that make up his collection make an important subject for study and research.