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Aperture

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Hardcover, 8.5 x 10.38 in. / 192 pgs / 150 color.

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ISBN 9781597112116 TRADE
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101 crime-scene classics from the Mexican Weegee.

  

APERTURE

101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides

Published by Aperture
Edited and with introduction by Trisha Ziff.

Featured image is reproduced from <I>101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides</I>.101 Tragedies is Enrique Metinides’ selection of the key 101 images from his half-century of photographing crime scenes and accidents in Mexico for local newspapers and the notas rojas (or red pages--for their bloody content) crime press. Alongside each image, extended captions give Metinides’ account of the situation depicted--the life and characters of the streets, the criminals, the heroism of emergency workers and the sadness of bereaved families--revealing much of his personality in the process. Thirty of the selected photographs are paired with their original newsprint tearsheets, preserved by Metinides, the typography of which has inspired the design of this book. The images are compiled by Trisha Ziff, a filmmaker and curator who knows Metinides well, and who here contributes an essay about his life, work and personality. The first overview of the photographer in many years, 101 Tragedies is also the only Metinides monograph comprised of images chosen by the photographer himself, and which offers his own account of his life’s work.
Enrique Metinides (born 1934) worked as a crime photographer for more than 50 years, capturing murders, crashes and catastrophes for Mexico’s infamous crime magazines. He has won numerous prizes and received recognition from the Presidency of the Republic, journalists’ associations, rescue and judicial corps and Kodak of Mexico. In 1997 he received the “Espejo de Luz” (Mirror of Light) Prize, awarded to the country’s most outstanding photographer. His work has been shown at numerous international venues, including The Museum of Modern Art and Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Photographers’ Gallery, London; and Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie, Arles, France.

Featured image is reproduced from 101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides.

101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides

STAFF REVIEW

Enrique Metinides' career in journalism began in 1948, when he was just 13 years old. For the next 30 years he worked for various tabloid papers in Mexico City, taking photographs of crime scenes, accidents and other mishaps. Sometimes referred to as the "Weegee of Mexico City," Metinides (like Weegee) kept a police radio in his car, which allowed him to make it to the scene immediately, sometimes while a crime was still in progress.
The 101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides gathers 101 of Metinides' most memorable images, selected by the photographer and accompanied by his short accounts of the circumstances under which they were taken. Thirty of the photographs are printed with the original tear sheets from the paper, showing the context in which they were originally viewed. Additionally, the typography of the book was chosen to mimic the blocky fonts used by the papers.
The calamities depicted include car accidents, airplane crashes, murders, suicides and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. Unlike in the US, in Mexico there is no taboo against printing a photograph of a gory dead body on the front page of a newspaper. Since his retirement, Metinides no longer takes photographs out on the street, but his work has been increasingly recognized and exhibited internationally, and he's been in the papers himself, interviewed by The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times and Vice Magazine, all despite his refusal to leave Mexico City (he has a fear of flying).
Metinides' photographs are extraordinarily well-composed and cinematic in a way that belies, or perhaps enhances, the horror of their subject material. Another hallmark of his work is the use of a wide angle lens to capture not just the scene of the incident, but the almost festive crowds that would gather around to gawk and socialize, often serviced by an ice cream vendor. -- Eleanor Strehl
Artbook | D.A.P. Staff

 


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FROM THE BOOK
"Enrique Metinides spends his time away from the drama of the city. It's not that he has disconnected, he has not. He watches the news, buys newspapers every day. He keeps in touch with his friends in the Red Cross, in the fire brigade and the police. It is a decade since he stopped taking photographs in the street and his work today is more about the images he made, the past and the new life they now take on; less about the event itself. Nota Roja, the tabloids he used to work for, have changed he tells me. He is not pleased. The blood soaked sensationalism caught on cell-phone cameras has nothing to do with his practice.
Metinides is adamant that his philosophy combined documenting with respecting. That's gone he argues, today it's all about sensationalism, not about considering the victims, nor their families. Metinides has chosen to put down his camera. He is adamant his vision has little to do with the harsh imagery that accosts one at each intersection and traffic light of the city, It's not that Metinides doesn't look at this work, he does, in detail. In fact he catalogues it and maintains an archive, but he sees his own work as distinct from the photographs that fill today's press."

- Trisha Ziff, excerpted from the Introduction to 101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides.

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