Art History, Independent Researcher
Fellowship : October 2021 to June 2022
Discipline(s) : Art History
Pays : Mexico
By the early 1940s, Mexico City entered an era of unprecedented urban expansion. During this period, known as the “Mexican miracle,” both the state and private investors funded massive modernist constructions such as housing developments, elite suburbs, a university campus, office buildings, markets, and hospitals with the goal of building a modern society. As the city turned radically to a new scale, architects, artists, and developers appropriated new territories for their modernist designs. Cristóbal Jácome-Moreno’s project focuses on the architectural urban projects built between 1940 and 1952 in El Pedregal, an enormous volcanic region resulting from Xitle Volcano’s eruption (AD 245-315) located in what is now southern Mexico City. Namely, these projects are Diego Rivera’s Archeological Museum “Anahuacalli” (1940-1957), and the mammoth University City that gave the National University a new home (1949-1952). Mexico City’s mid-century boom was significantly marked by these monumental modern structures built in a uniquely dramatic landscape. For his analysis, Cristóbal proposes to start anew from the material, ancient rocks, to advance the thesis that this archaic material was pivotal for re-elaborating the notion of a national space as well as for examining the distinctive character of El Pedregal’s works.
Cristóbal Jácome-Moreno is an art historian and curator specialized in the art and architecture of the Americas from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective. In 2019, he received his PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin. Cristobal’s primary research areas of interest are Latin American urban cultures, and questions of nation building, modernizing processes, and politics of patrimony. He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the presence of pre-Columbian aesthetics in mid-century Mexican architecture. Other research projects focus on architectural photography, monuments and memory, and the aesthetics of photomontage.