Enrique Metinides SERIES (06.03. - 13.04.2012)

With the exhibition “Series” Kominek Gallery presents a completely new view on the work of the “Mexican Weegee.” As in the book published by Kominek Books in 2011, the main focus is on the serial aspect of his photographs: the before and after and the whole dimension of the event, whose narrative quality only becomes apparent in the sequence. “Series” sheds light on Metinides’ activity as a photojournalist and contrasts the iconic-like and often disturbing character of the single picture with a narrative cinematic perspective. The exhibition places his photographs in a larger context, for which the “Nota Roja” mostly didn’t have enough space. Enrique Metinides “Series”

Exhibition March 6 – April 13, 2012
Opening March 3, 2012, 6 p.m.

“I was 10 when I took my first picture of a corpse. By and by I got used to it. In the beginning you still feel unwell, but that dies away.
Everyday I was on the road, first as assistant, later as photographer. I have seen up to 30 corpses a day. You get used to it.”
- Enrique Metinides -

A man is standing on a steel frame, the shoulders crooked, the gaze lowered down to the depths. On the second picture his body is turned to the side, his lifted hand stops two people coming towards him. They shouldn’t come closer, but they’re carefully approaching, picture by picture, balancing on the narrow balk until, in united trinity, they’re nearly losing their footing and are in danger of falling into the depths. These are all dramatic scenes like in a film noir of the 40s and 50s, but the pictures are real, taken by Enrique Metinides,
1971, in the bullfighting arena in Mexico City. The photographer was with the firefighters and the rescue force who tried to approach the desperate suicidal person at a height of 40 meters and finally brought him safely back to the ground.
For over 50 years Metinides documented crimes and accidents in his hometown, attracted by the small and large dramas of the everyday life in the big city, by the endless possibilities and ways to meet Death. Metinides has often seen him, in numerous explosions and fires, train accidents and plane crashes, murders and robberies.

Enrique Metinides, born 1934 in Mexico City, got into gangster and action films early in life and transferred these aesthetics into his pictures. He photographed his first corpse at the age of 10, at 12 his first photo appeared on the cover of a newspaper. From the late 40s to the late 90s, Metinides worked for the yellow press, especially for “La Prensa”, a newspaper that with its sensational and shocking images is attributed to the “Nota Roja” (bloody news). But despite their shocking, and at the same time fascinating, effect, the exposures are particularly characterized by the absence of blood. The photographer concentrates on the bystanders, curious onlookers, desperate and concerned people, on people’s poses and facial expressions, and on the actual composition of the details he depicts. His images appear like film stills, staged, contrived, and too comely and precise to be real.
The ambivalence between fact and fiction makes Metinides’ photographs disturbingly fascinating and could be one of the reasons his works have been perceived more and more by the art world in the last 10 years.
His photographs have been exhibited in Mexico, New York and London, among others, and were presented together with the “Car Crash Series” by Warhol in the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Also the polish painter Wilhelm Sasnal became inspired by his images and produced the so-called “Metinides paintings.”
With the exhibition “Series” Kominek Gallery presents a completely new view on the work of the “Mexican Weegee.” As in the book published by Kominek Books in 2011, the main focus is on the serial aspect of his photographs: the before and after and the whole dimension of the event, whose narrative quality only
becomes apparent in the sequence. “Series” sheds light on Metinides’ activity as a photojournalist and contrasts the iconic-like and often disturbing character of the single picture with a narrative cinematic perspective. The exhibition places his photographs in a larger context, for which the “Nota Roja” mostly didn’t have enough space.