Conversational interview inspired by scholar Matt Feinberg’s article “From cigarreras to indignados: Spectacles of scale in the CSA La Tabacalera of Lavapiés, Madrid,” published in the International Journal of Iberian Studies (26.1-2, 2013). Approached simultaneously at the urban, regional and national scales, topics include the interconnection between economy, labor, protest, culture, and selling urban space. Discussions also fold in notions of produced authenticity centering on the figure of the tobacco-rolling cigarrera, zarzuelas, and tourism during the Franco dictatorship. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]
Brief video introduction [created with Camtasia 2] explaining a student-produced Digital Humanities project investigating Madrid’s Gran Vía [created with Omeka / Neatline].
This way of approaching DH work is particularly conducive to urban-scaled projects, and does not require extensive data mining or GIS components – although these approaches could certainly be integrated. (I will be presenting this project alongside my colleague at a June conference in Charleston titled: Data Driven: Digital Humanities in the Library.)
My new book Antonio López García’s Everyday Urban Worlds: A Philosophy of Painting is entering production with Bucknell University Press – it should be available in August 2014 (appearing on amazon at present for pre-order).
It represents rather a new form of writing for me – inspired by the meandering and philosophical style of Spanish author / civil engineer Juan Benet’s El ángel del señor abandona a Tobías (1976) where he mixes a range of disciplinary questions together, using the famed painting of the same name by Rembrandt as a point of departure.
Here I’ve devoted a chapter each to specific paintings (Gran Vía, Madrid desde Torres Blancas, and Madrid desde la torre de bomberos de Vallecas…), which I use as points of departure to fold Spanish literature, film and urban planning together with larger interdisciplinary and philosophical, geographical questions.
If you CLICK HERE you can see a ‘prezi’ that I’ve used with a lecture focusing on an excerpt of the second chapter’s Madrid desde Torres Blancas (visuals only).
UCS 008 Masterson-Algar on Ecuadorians in Madrid’s Retiro Park (8 October 2013)
Conversational interview inspired by scholar Araceli Masterson-Algar’s article “Juggling Aesthetics and Surveillance in Paradise: Ecuadorians in Madrid’s Retiro Park,” published in the International Journal of Iberian Studies (26.1-2, 2013). Mixing ethnography on the ground with Ecuadorian immigrants to Madrid with cultural analysis and discussion of urban planning, topics range from urban parks (the Retiro Park [the section known as La Chopera now home to the 11-M memorial and Forest of Memory], the Casa de Campo…) to Manuel Delgado’s urban anthropology and the dynamics of migration as tied to urban processes of tourism and capital accumulation. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]
Conversational interview inspired by scholar Eugenia Afinoguénova’s article “Liberty at the Merry-Go-Round: Leisure, Politics, and Municipal Authority on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid, 1760-1939,” published in the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (1.1, 2013). Topics range from the contemporary Occupy movements and 15-M in Spain to the historical legacy of the Prado Promenade and the popular festivals known as verbenas – discussion centers on the relationship between city authority and state authority, commerce and public assembly.
[I’m currently working on a book whose second chapter deals with this painting, specifically — fascinating; read the article in its original context here; but I’ve pasted it below — dated from 2008?]
Antonio Lopez Sets World Auction Record for a Living Spanish Artist at Christie’s
Antonio Lopez (b. 1936), Madrid desde Torres Blancas; signed and dated `A. Lopez Garcia, 1976-82′ (lower left), oil on board, 57.1/8 x 96.1/8in. (145 x 244cm.) Painted in 1976-82. Sold: $2,760,803. © Christie’s Images Limited.
LONDON.- An early highlight of this evening’s auction was Madrid desde Torres Blancas by Antonio Lopez (b. 1936) which sold for £1,385,250 / $2,760,803 / €1,744,030, becoming the most expensive work by a living Spanish artist sold at Continue reading
[reblogged from El País; original post here]
The Madrid that may never be
The capital has been transformed by some major building projects in recent years
But budget cutbacks have since put the brakes on many other developers’ dreams
It’s past 6pm, but the security guard who comes out to meet this reporter has beads of sweat rolling down his sideburns.
“There’s nobody here but me, building work has been stopped,” he says, informatively. “There’s nothing to see.”
Behind him loom the Cuatro Torres – the four towers. They are behemoths nearly 250 meters tall that watch over the north entrance into Madrid, on the Castellana boulevard. Between them and the security guard’s sauna-like cabin, there is a colossal hole in the ground. These 33,000 square meters of empty land are destined to one day hold the International Convention Center – if you look closely, you can dimly guess at its concrete foundations. “Madrid’s new architectural icon” is how then-mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón defined it when he laid the first stone in Continue reading
Scholar Susan Larson has written that:
“José Antonio Nieves Conde’s film El inquilino (1957)–much like his earlier film Surcos–stages the frustration and despair felt by many madrileños over the lack of substantive improvements in the living conditions of the majority of the inhabitants of the nation’s capital after the end of the Civil War. Within the generic confines of a popular comedy, the film uncovers the cruel, everyday realities of a family looking for affordable housing behind a paternalistic Nationalist facade–a false image whose values are seen as having more to do with the privatization of capital and attracting foreign investment than the preservation of the traditional Catholic Spanish family” (Larson 2012: 123).
(The film is available in its entirety on vimeo, and you can download as an .mp4 it using the website http://www.keepvid.com).