3 weeks ago
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Following a series of links from an article about war photography some night last week, I came across these photos on the site Military Photos: apparently, the first photographic documentation of war.
"Embedded," essentially, with an American legion pushing into northern Mexico, no one knows who shot them. They were shot as glass-plated daguerreotypes - hence the weird scratchiness - and form an eerie portrait of wars before wars were photographed and documented as thoroughly as today's war correspondents can - or cannot - get away with.
The amputation, the grave and the seated photo "Mexican civilians.." remind of McCarthy's epic dystopia from this campaign, "Blood Meridian." (Arguably the best book of the current generation.) The hollow, silvery look in the eyes, and the almost 3-D feeling of some pics are captivating.
After finding this, Ms. Scarlett Lion pointed me to another project, The Mexican Suitcase. Through a circuitous (and historically unclear) route, this photo documentation of the Spanish Civil War reached Mexico as the photographers fled the spread of Nazism and WWII. In 2007 the dilapidated boxes arrived in New York from Mexico, and are on display with the International Center for Photography.
Not as interesting from a Mexican historical perspective, but still a cool tale of keeping war photos alive. And if that's what you into, go get your procrastinate on.
Posted by Esteyonage at 14:27