by Veronique Ricardonni
Crime reporter Enrique Metinides has spent over 50 years photographing crime in Mexico City. Discovered by a photographer from the yellow press, "El Indio Velasquez," who was intrigued by the presence of an 11-year-old child next to him photographing a car accident in the public thoroughfare, Enrique Metinides began to practice his trade at this tender age, earning himself the nickname of “the Metinides boy.”
Murders, suicides, electrocuted persons, train, car and plane crashes, catastrophes and disasters are the tragic events constituting the obscure universe of this Mexican photographer. His aesthetics is drawn from his taste for ciné noir and his passion for police investigation. His composition is moderate and does not make excessive use of pictures of victims in the foreground. It avoids sensationalism and as Carlos Monsivais used to say, "There is nothing morbid about Metinides' work." His position as an impartial observer contrasts with that of those who gaze at his photographs, with their many perspectives that question the spectator. Deafening silence is another great element with which Enrique Metinides composes his images.
The work of Enrique Metinides is of incalculable value, both because of its record of Mexico City with all its contradictions, making him the photographer of Post-Modernism and because of the aesthetic value of his colossal oeuvre. For the past 10 years, his works have been displayed in contemporary art galleries and MOMA acquired several pieces for its permanent collection. The market's interest underscores the questioning of the way we regard death and its evolution over time.
The selection of 17 color photographs and the previously unreleased video displayed in the Garash gallery reflect the desire of curators Véronique Ricardoni and Rodrigo Espinosa to provide a representative sample of the artist's most recent work, including photomontages created from his photographs and collection of toys. The exhibition's curatorship attempted to use a few, iconic images to reflect the violent flow of production and the record of the moments when life takes its leave as well as the violent flow of creation and artistic recreation as the eternal staging of the possible purpose of anonymous existences in which Enrique Metinides’ work restores both light and memory.