Club Fotografico de Mexico - Peripheral Portraits by Andrew Davidhazy

Versi—n en Espa–ol

This is a virtual exhibition, simultaneous with the real one, of photographs by Andrew Davidhazy currently installed at the Club Fotografico de Mexico, in Mexico City. The opening of the exhibition will take place at 7:30 pm on Friday the 24th of April and it will remain on view there until May 24, 1998.

The address of the Club Fotografico de Mexico is Londres 75-103, on the corner with Insurgentes, in Colonia Juarez, Zona Rosa. CP 06600 Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico. Telephone: (5) 525-4330

Davidhazy is a Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, located in Rochester, NY in the US. He was born in Hungary in 1941 and emigrated to the US in 1957, having earlier spent 10 years with his family in Argentina where they emigrated after WWII. In the city of Necochea on the Atlantic coast of that country he was introduced to photography in a biology class as he started high school and learned more of the practical aspects of photography working for a beach photographer during the summers.

He completed his studies of photography in the same university where he currently is a professor. He started his professional career as a scientific and technical photographer in the Distillation Research Laboratory at RIT. Eventually he became a professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at RIT.

His articles on various aspects of photography have been published in many magazines and journals and he has presented numerous lectures, conducted workshops, exhibitions, and professional presentations worldwide including Australia, Brazil, Argentina, France, etc.

To contact Leonardo Cardoso of the CFM, who was principally responsible for facilitating this exhibition and to who I am greatly indebted for this assistance, simply send e-mail to him here.

Select this message from the author to read a brief note composed on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition in Mexico.


"From the time of its invention, photography has been characterized by its capacity for capturing in a fraction of time, each time a smaller fraction as advances were made not only in the technology of emulsions and papers, a given scene, following the laws of optics.

Instantaneity and photography, governed by rules of perspective, in this sense have become almost synonymous, where light, in a single action, discharges its energy over the photosensitive material. In this manner was constructed the history of photography: light, instantaneous recording and a space recorded over the angle of view of the camera's lens. Behind this physical and chemical underpinnings we find the creative will of the photographer who brings to the final product personal vision and sensibility.

On the other hand, the work, the research and the photographs of Andrew Davidhazy, are endowed with a new dimension from the moment that the factor of time, inescapable in every photographic image, reconstructs space by a disengagement from the traditional and conventional methods.

His photographs technologically are based on the basic operating parameters of focal plane shutters, that move from side to side of the focal frame and thus, control the exposure time. Davidhazy inverted this positive process: he holds the shutter slot still in the center of the frame and makes the film move behind it at a uniform speed.

Thus a new dimension of space manifests itself since the resulting image - the photograph - is created over a period of time and following the movement of the subject. This transformation is somewhat unnerving but at the same time it is a revelation of this new spatial dimension, that can only be obtained through photography.

The work of Davidhazy makes us consider a new reality which our conventional perception of the nude is incapable of perceiving, but which is there - his photographs are a direct and indisputable comprobation that this reality exists and is - but which only reveals itself through the most realistic of abstractions."

A. Becquer Casaballe,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is my first exhibition of photographs in Mexico. Examples of the work on exhibit at the CFM are shown below although the resolution of these reproductions leaves a lot to be desired in comparison to the original prints.

Peripheral Portraits combined with the Phoenix Process
[retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix]

[retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix]

[retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix] [retrato peripheral phoenix]

In addition to the 15 Phoenix prints shown directly above, the exhibit at the CFM includes several mural sized figure studies and portraits done on conventional 35mm film, enlarged to strips measuring 20 inches by 15 feet and several prints of 48 inches by 80 inches in size.

Unfortunately reproductions of the mural prints are not currently available but below are included sections of the larger prints on display at the CFM.

[foto davidhazy]

[foto davidhazy] [foto davidhazy] [foto davidhazy] [foto davidhazy]


One of my major interests over the years has been the construction of improvised "strip" cameras and associated photographic equipment and the application of this technology for various technical as well as aesthetic purposes.

This exhibition of "Peripheral Portraits" is a small sample of photographs encomapsing 360 degrees as well as the combination of this proecess with the Phoenix process.

Some of the photographs were made with conventional 35mm cameras that were modified to operate in the "strip" mode. The subjects rotated in front of the camera while the film within the camera was transported at a steady rate past a narrow, vertical, slit. The camera essentially functioned as a photographic or optical "scanner".

The rest of the photographs were made in studios, fairs, conferences, trade show demonstrations and other events, where I was demonstrating how one could make peripheral photographs using improvised equipment, typically a Polaroid camera slightly modified to operate as a "strip" camera.

In these latter applications the film that was used was Polaroid Type 667. The paper negatives (normally discared) were then elaborated by rephotographing them with Polaroid Polagraph 35mm film. The resulting transparent negatives were then placed in a standard enlarger and convetional paper prints were made on gelatin silver material. In short, the Phoenix Process.

Once I started the process of making portraits using the Phoenix Process it became obvious that this technique exhibited significant levels of the Sabattier effect, mackie lines and a considerable but interesting granularity to the image which imparted an almost tactile quality to the prints.

Andrew Davidhazy The author is a professor in the Imaging and Photographic Technology Department at the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences of the Rochester Institute of Technology. This Institute is located in Rochester, NY in the United States. For more information, consult his web address at: index2.html

Thanks very much for your visit. Yours is number since the 24th of April, 1998.

To send a message to Andrew Davidhazy, select his e-mail address I would very much appreciate hearing from you regarding your impressions, comments, etc. about the exhibition and this theme in general.