BOS TAURUS Una antropología visual de los mundos del toro - Ramón Zabalza

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Assorted means of production, A mixed bag of means of production, knowledge, imaginaries, traditions and rites, bullfighting festivities have been one of the most confusing, unstable and contentious topics in Spanish culture for the past fifty years. BOS TAURUS is a visual and conceptual essay on two of its less known spheres: the bull in the open country and popular festivities.


For more than three centuries the bullfighting world enjoyed a placid status quo only altered by episodic royal and papal bans or by weak civil protests. Participating in this world was a cultural option and being in favour or against it was an intellectual activity hardly polemic just fifty years ago. This balance started to change after the war and flared up when Spain entered the European Community. Nowadays bullfighting fiestas have become a battlefield where its disappearance, no more and no less, is being discussed. The formerly debatable question ‘bullfighting yes, bullfighting no’ has currently become a pressing ‘lets put an end to bullfighting’, which places the Spanish society before the historic responsibility of keeping or eliminating these singular manifestations of the pugnacity and ingenuity of human beings.


Popular bullfighting festivities, the breeding ground of bullfighting culture, are addressed in BOS TAURUS from the contradictory relationship of humans with usable animals and the confirmation of their universal exploitation. When the bull comes out to the countryside, economic and social substratum of tauromachy, BOS TAURUS dissociates itself from conventional bullfighting photography and formulates everywhere uncomfortable questions from the scarcely explored relationships between photography and anthropology. Are bullfighting fiestas viable in the twenty first century? Do we have to request for tauromachy the status of besieged culture?


Although some of the photographs could be interpreted as a protest against the maltreatment inflicted upon the bull, their real purpose is to reflect on the linkage between popular bullfighting culture and global culture and, with the perspective given by history, economy and direct observation, to question the viability of tauromachy in the most crucial moment of its history.

There are many explanations fir the collective and individual schizophrenia generated by bullfighting, but almost all of them avoid the explanation that this book puts forward in the debate: the emotion aroused by the different confrontations with the bull is so intense that the actors and those who are watching are psychologically conditioned. This emotional intensity is such that makes difficult bringing the past back and the integration of imaginaries, mental territories where reflection thrives and would explain the moral dilemma that its articulation generates in the present society. To resolve this conflict, for the most part the result of the modernization of contemporary societies, the texts and photographs in BOS TAURUS propose a more open access, and also deeper, to the obscure psychics of the bullfighting universe that can overcome the present antagonism.



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Concursos Sociales 2018-2019 - Real Sociedad Fotográfica Concursos Sociales 2018-2019 - Real Sociedad Fotográfica
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