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The Edge of Time: Photographs of Mexico

Mazahua Women by Mariana YampolskySPRING 1998
THE EDGE OF TIME: Photographs of Mexico

Mazahua Women, 1989

The Edge of Time: Photographs of Mexico by Mariana Yampolsky features the work of one of Mexico’s most widely-respected photographers. Yampolsky was born in Chicago in 1925 and lived in Mexico from 1944 to her death in 2002. In addition to a successful career as a photographer, she was also an accomplished curator, writer, engraver and editor.

Despite their range of subjects, all of her photographs share at least one thing in common: a quality of timelessness. The buildings, people, and festivals that she captures on film suggest the tenacity with which history and traditions endure in contemporary Mexican life.

The Edge of Time is an exhibit organized by The Wittliff’s Southwestern and Mexican Photography Collection and toured by Exhibits USA in 1998. There are sixty black-and-white silver gelatin prints in the exhibit.

Mariana Yampolsky’s great heart beats for the gente -- the common people of Mexico. Look at her photographs -- look at the four old women chatting as they wait for the priest, look at the mother gently caressing her child -- these people have wiggled their toes in the earth -- have since time immemorial, suffered a fiery, tortuous history of abuse, poverty, neglect for a thousand years, and yet endured to create a vibrant culture filled with art, music, ritual and mystery. . . Mariana pays them the greatest of tributes: to see them as they are -- not as exotic objects for the lens, but as fellow and equal travelers on this spinning globe. And they in turn pay her the greatest of tributes as well: to go on about the business of their daily lives as she photographs. There’s no arranging here, no posing, no invasion, but rather a shared moment in time between kindred spirits - a simpatía.
As Mariana has said, she was never interested in photography as a means to express herself. What she’s been after for almost half a century now -- and gloriously evident in these images -- is simply to share with us the dignity and humanity of a people we otherwise might never have even noticed.
August 27, 1996 from The Edge of Time brochure

The Edge of Time: Photographs of Mexico by Mariana Yampolsky is available for purchase through the Wittliff Gift Shop. It was the second book in the Wittliff's Series to be printed by UT Press.