After a while the initial excitement of seeing horses dance in front of the bulls like graceful centaurs, so at one are they with their riders, the boredom and horror of the corrida sets in-even before the first bull is killed. In the Carmargue this July I witnessed six take a long time to die. (I thought I had purchased tickets for “course camarguaise” a bloodless spectacle in which the objective is to snatch a rosette from the head of a young bull). No this was a Spanish-style corrida. In the succinct words of John Kalucki,

“You don’t want to know what happens if the sword doesn’t kill the bull after 30 seconds or so. You really really don’t”. Too true. I really didn’t want to see the wretched hulk, with its bloodied tongue hanging out of crimson saliva, flounder about the ring, collapse and get up again-one bull got up again thee times-while men in fancy pants taunt and try to deal the coup de grace so they can cut off the beast’s ears and present them to an enthralled crowd.

Corrida is called a sport sometimes an art. It is neither. It reminded me of Hannah Arendt’s comment on the banality of evil. Artists like Goya with “La Taurmaquia”, Édouard Manet and Picasso found inspiration in the ritual slaughter of a demented bull in the bullring. This obscene public spectacle revolted me but I persevered to take these photographs that express my revulsion.