press release

The Kunsthal presents the work of the Mexican photographer who followed and captured countless terrifying events in and around Mexico City in thousands of photographs between 1948 and 1979. Metinides not only focuses on accidents and human violence, but also on people who are bound together because of a disastrous situation. His photographs sometimes look like staged film fragments, unreal but above all human. They show us how quickly people arrive at the scene of a disaster, either to take action, help or simply watch.

Vulnerability It is tempting to compare Metinides’ work to that of the American photographer Weegee. They both share a passion for the dark side of human existence. But where Weegee’s best work only covers a period of ten years, Metidines’ work extends for five decades. Metinides zooms in on people who come to help and those who hurry to the scene just to watch the drama unfold, and without knowing it, become part of the same scene. He mingles with this group of people, watching the disaster tourists, following the relief workers, and is not one to ignore the dead and injured. He witnesses fires, floods, plane crashes, car accidents, train derailments, bus accidents, murder and suicides. As a photographer, Metinides works with a wide-angle lens and flash, and records the scene of the disaster in carefully chosen stills. His photographs appear to be staged. They are almost surreal, their reality hard to grasp.

Publication The exhibition will be accompanied by Enrique Metinides, a publication by Ridinghouse, ISBN 0-9541710-4-7

The exhibition was set up in association with The Photographers’ Gallery of London.

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Enrique Metinides "glorious accident"