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Distributed for University of Wales Press


Visual Culture, Space and Power

This richly illustrated volume brings together fresh insights into the changing urban space of Barcelona from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. The collection focuses primarily on the complicated relationship between environment, identity, and performance as they were seen, explored, and portrayed by countercultural and avant-garde artists and communities from the 1960s to today. Drawing crucial links between theory and practice, aesthetics and environment—and paying particular attention to the role of the avant-garde in challenging and disrupting dominant art forms and uses of urban space—Barcelona presents a variety of perspectives and approaches, drawing on art history, cultural geography, performance studies, and institutional critique.

224 pages | 8 color plates, 44 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2012

Iberian and Latin American Studies

History: European History

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“[Barcelona’s] depth and detail are quite impressive. Recommended.”


“This volume offers a fascinating and visually engaging portrait of how artists from multiple disciplines have employed innovative aesthetic practices to negotiate the urban environment of Barcelona, appealing to readers interested in the relationship between culture and European cityscapes.”

Sharon Feldman, University of Richmond

Barcelona: Visual Culture, Space, and Power pushes ongoing discussions of Barcelona, its space, and art in new directions. Through a series of thoughtful essays by leading critics, this edited volume provides an intriguing interdisciplinary treatment of a city that continues to enthrall and challenge both locals and visitors alike.” 

Robert Davidson, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword
List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
Introduction: ‘Butterflying Barcelona’
      Helena Buffery and Carlota Caulfield

Part I: Avant-Garde Histories and Catalonia
1. Breaking Boundaries: A Journey through the Catalan Avant-Garde
      Carlota Caulfield
2. On the Starfish Road: Surrealism and the Paris–Barcelona Connection
      Stephen Forcer
3. The Lyrical Taboos of Guillem Viladot
      P. Louise Johnson
4. Cafè Central: a groundbreaking independent publishing house in Barcelona. Interview with Antoni Clapés
      Carlota Caulfield
Part II: Butterflying Barcelona: The Environment
5. The Case for Obsolescence: Thinking Time and Space in Joaquim Jordà’s Numax presenta
      Maria Paz Balibrea
6. Whose Vanguardist City? The Barcelona Urban Model as Seen from the Periphery in José Luis Guérin’s En construcción
      Natalia Nuñez
7. The Raval on Stage: Limits and Borders in Juan Mayorga’s Hamelin
      Elisenda Marcer
8. Translating the Enigma: Temporality and Subjectivity in Ventura Pons’s Barcelona: un mapa
      Josep-Anton Fernàndez
9. Empowerment by Visualization: Experiences from Barcelona
      Lidewij Tummers
Part III: Performing Barcelona
10. Tracing the City through the URBS Project
      Helena Buffery and Àngels Margarit
11. Performing Barcelona: Cultural Tourism, Geography and Identity
      Maria M. Delgado
12. Absent Bodies and Objects
      Cariad Astles
13. A Broken Mirror? Global-Local Images of Barcelona
      Anna Wilson
14. Talking about Visual Poetry: Interviews with J. M. Calleja, Gustavo Vega and Xavier Canals
      Carlota Caulfield et al.

Works Cited

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