Reid Samuel Yalom
Colonial Noir, Photographs from Mexico
by Reid Samuel Yalom
Published by Stanford University Press, 2004
Using the expansive vernacular of black and white night photography to modify the antiquarian sensibility ordinarily brought to the study of Mexico’s colonial architectures, Colonial Noir brings together the unsettling tenor of Mexico’s colonial legacies with the ambiguous landscape of noir. Set against the backdrop of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, the images in this collection draw on the aesthetics of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism to create the collection’s existential tone—where the innuendo of chiaroscuro becomes an analog to the tenuous relationship between Mexico’s celebrated cultural plurality and its nefarious colonial history.