The man who saw too much
Award-winning documentary about Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides, a man obsessed with photographing the accident, who discovered that the fate of others was his way of connecting to life. What is it about these photographs? When the image of the accident becomes the object of desire? Through the footsteps of Metinides and the work of the contemporary tabloid photographers we discover Mexico City through a narrative of crime scenes and accidents, while we are confronted by our own fascination with death, morbidity, rubbernecking through Metinides’ gaze.
The more we try to understand him and acknowledge our own compelling fascination with accidents, the more we realize that we too are being lured into the Metinides Gaze.
His passion for American and Mexican cinema shaped his way of seeing. He would skip school to go to the cinema where he would take photos off the screen, then emerge into the street and search for the reality of what he had just seen—always trying to connect both worlds. At first taking photographs of simple car accidents, Metinides soon graduated to the more macabre. From the age of nine, his images would be published daily on the front pages of Mexico City’s tabloids. A boy without a childhood, who as an adult began collecting toys, as if he has lived life in reverse. A child with they eye of an adult; a boy lost in an old man’s body.
Through the prism of Metinides’ work, we experience a history of tabloid photography in Mexico today. Moving away from a nostalgia, perhaps, for his images—which despite their intensity reflect the drama of any metropolis—to the work of the tabloid photographers working today who expose themselves to a high level of risk in a country where violence is rampant.
Meanwhile Metinides’ work has moved from the street to the museum, from popular culture to a world of fine art and collectors, from Mexico to an international stage. Yet, he remains at home, preferring the safety and limitations of his neighborhood, revisiting his own past in his new work and his pleasure in retelling the stories of accidents whenever he gets a chance.
MALMÖ FOTOBIENNAL 2017 - THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE
"Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior."
/Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (1967)
The 2017 edition of Malmö Fotobiennal celebrates 50 years since the release of the essay “The Society of the Spectacle” by French philosopher Guy Debord. Debord devoted his essay to understand the structure in which we are living in, where the social relations are interpolated by a society of representations, the being is replaced into having and appearing. To be is to consume, and the images serve as a mediator of the spectacle. We take his work and his concepts as a starting point for Malmö Fotobiennal 2017, an attempt to understand how these ideas would apply to the use of photography today.
In addition to acknowledging the 50-year anniversary, we aim to problematize the power, the authenticity and the message carried by the photographic image. Another goal is to update the features and role of photography in society today. How are visual artists representing a society in transformation?