Photo by Enrique Metinides
In 1942, when Enrique Metinides was eight years old, his father gave him a camera. The family lived near a police station in Mexico City. A year or so later, the cops let little Enrique inside so he could take his first picture that would be published in the newspapers: that of a detective holding up the severed head of a man who had been murdered in the neighborhood. For the next fifty years Metinides would take pictures for the police blotter section of the city’s grisliest newspapers. He shot photos of people who had been shot, stabbed and bludgeoned to death; of children whose hands had been mangled in meat grinders; of cars and buses that had crashed and been split in two. He took pictures of train derailments, airplane crashes and gas explosions. All of them were influenced by the black-and-white movies he saw as a child. Enrique Metinides: The Man Who Saw Too Much, a retrospective exhibition of his work, is being shown at the FotoMuseo Cuatro Caminos (Ingenieros Militares 77, Lomas de Sotelo, Naucalpan, Edo. de México). Curated by my friend Trisha Ziff, it’s an incredible show — a sort of collective catalogue of our traumas. Don’t miss it. Trisha also directed a breathtaking documentary about Metinides, also called El hombre que vio demasiado, which will be shown at this year’s Ambulante documentary festival. Click here for the schedule.