Ghostly Landscapes: Film, Photography, and the Aesthetics of Haunting in Contemporary Spanish Culture
Published: January 2016© 2016
280 Pages, 6.40 x 9.30 x 1.10 in
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In Ghostly Landscapes, Patricia M. Keller analyses the aesthetics of haunting and the relationship between ideology and image production by revisiting twentieth-century Spanish history through the camera’s lens. Through its vision she demonstrates how the traumatic losses of the Spanish Civil War and their systematic denial and burial during the fascist dictatorship have constituted fertile territory for the expressions of loss, uncanny return, and untimeliness that characterize the aesthetic presence of the ghost.
Examining fascist documentary newsreels, countercultural art films from the Spanish New Wave, and conceptual landscape photographs created since the transition to democracy, Keller reveals how haunting serves to mourn loss, redefine space and history, and confirm the significance of lives and stories previously hidden or erased. Her richly illustrated book constitutes a significant reevaluation of fascist and post-fascist Spanish visual culture and a unique theorization of haunting as an aesthetic register inextricably connected to the visual and the landscape.
Introduction: Ghostly Landscapes
Chapter 1. Documentary Optics: NO-DOs’ Archival Gaze and the Totalized Landscape
Chapter 2. Cinematic Apertures: Carlos Saura’s Untimely Landscapes
Chapter 3. Photographic Interventions: Two Meditations on Landscape and Loss
‘In her fascinating Ghostly Landscapes, Patricia Keller considers instances of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic use of film and photography over the past eighty years of Spanish history.’Sebastiaan Faber, Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, April 2018
“In Ghostly Landscapes, Patricia M. Keller offers a novel theorization of haunting as an aesthetic register inextricably tied to the visual and to landscape. Keller is thoroughly familiar with relevant scholarship on film, photography, haunting, representations of landscape, memory studies, and contemporary Spanish history and culture, and her mastery of critical theory is dazzling.”Justin Crumbaugh, Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies, Mount Holyoke College
“Ghostly Landscapes constitutes a valuable addition to the growing corpus of Spanish visual studies that has made possible the task of revising contemporary Spanish history. The documentaries, films, and photographs within portray the realities confronted by the Spanish people during the Francoist regime, while also offering a unique insight into the transition to democracy.”Raul A. Marrero-Fente, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota