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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Arthur Rothstein: Death in Matamoros


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Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Bullfight, Matamoros, Mexico

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

A picador

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

A picador

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Capework

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Capework

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Placing the sword for the kill

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Death of the bull

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

the end

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film


Photos by Arthur Rothstein, February 1942 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

6 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Ah, a return to the black & white world:

A picador

A picador

Capework

Capework

Placing the sword for the kill

The death of the bull

the end



9.2

light coming into sky above black plane
of ridge, silver of planet above branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

concept of distance physical
distance, straight line

somewhat displaced, relative
conditions, measurement

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull flapping toward ridge

curtisroberts said...

These are remarkable and unspeakable.

TC said...

In

the black & white world

things do tend to seem absolute... whereas of course in the living world, absolutes exist only in the mind of the beholder... and then too, there are differences in human traditions and cultures, and one naturally hesitates to judge these things... BUT given all that (and also our acute sense of alienation and disembodiment in a technological world), recognizing "truths" as (in Stephen's words)

somewhat displaced, relative [to]
conditions,

still it's difficult, looking closely -- especially at that bottom photo, in which we recognize that the Matamoros bullfight crowds were made up largely of gringos coming over from Brownsville -- not to conclude that this spectacle of physical cruelty, captured with such clinical precision by Arthur Rothstein, is, as Curtis suggests, simply

remarkable and unspeakable.

Elmo St. Rose said...

Has it been established
that running with the bulls
at Pamplona...is not necessarily
machismo in the senses of poetry.

Bull fighting for fighter is
obviously a skill, perhaps an
art,for the crowd, animal
sacrifice.

Can't ignore Hemingway
and the sense of him
at Key West. Spain a little
different, but then, in the
Spanish Civil War a great
human sacrifice.

Fire setting, bedwetting,
and cruelty to animals in childhood
are predictors of violence in
adulthood, offering a small thought
indirectly about historical
culture and unspeakable violence
just across our southern border

Elmo St. Rose said...

it's the triad of fire setting,
bed wetting, and cruelty to
animals that's predictive of
violence...not for example bed wetting alone which is common

TC said...

Elmo,

I wish one had to cross a border to find violence.

There are times it feels like where we live...