Tag Archives: Madrid

Workshop: Transatlantic Spain: the Afro-Hispanic Experience of Slavery and Freedom (15th–19th centuries), Birkbeck, University of London, 6 July 2018

https3a2f2fcdn-evbuc-com2fimages2f463781942f1063291068392f12foriginalThis international workshop aims to contribute to the visibilization of enslaved and free peoples of Afro-Hispanic descent, by exploring their representation in the visual and literary regimes of early modern Spain and the New World, and to generate critical insights into the articulation of slave subjectivities.

This gathering, supported by CILAVS, the Centre of Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies at Birkbeck, University of London is organised by the Transatlantic Afro-Hispanic Study Group, that emerged from the international conference Border Subjects/ Global Hispanisms (Birkbeck, November 2017). The latter was the outcome of the institutional collaboration between the Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck and the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. This collaboration has already produced our first publication entitled, Post/Colonialism and the Pursuit of Freedom in the Black Atlantic (Routledge, 2018, ed. J. Branche), the result of an international conference held at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015.

To attend the workshop, please register here.

PROGRAMME

14:30pm-16:00

Jerome Branche (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Love and Affec(ta)tion: Re/Viewing Francisco de Quevedo’s ‘Boda de negros

Francisco de Quevedo’s ‘Boda de negros,’ (in)famous for its conceptista artistry as much as for its anti-immigrant and anti-black virulence, acquires an important historico-existential dimension when considered in the broader context of (Hispano)-Christian religious symbology of the seventeenth century. My paper proposes that the poem’s central trope of marital consummation, the performance of coitus by the black groom, simultaneously speaks to and reveals important additional registers of both sexual and racial dominance. On the one hand, the aromantic and bloody implications of bridal penetration sans affection figure as an early discursive projection of black brutality in Hispanic and western artistic discourse, as also do the poem’s references to cannibalism. On the other, the image of the nail (es/clavo), which he punningly deploys to also identify Tomé, the groom, partakes of the symbology of humiliation, servitude, and death (by crucifixion), that characterize Catholic traditions of mysticism, saintliness and self-negation. My paper proposes that a reflection on the image of the S and the nail deployed here by the poet, ubiquitous in the popular and religious iconography of the time, beyond the symbolism of Christian devotion/abjection, also speaks volumes in relation to the enslaved, incoming Africans, and to the material and epistemic violence visited and potentially visited on their bodies under the aegis of conquest and enslavement.

Baltasar Fra-Molinero (Bates College, Maine, USA), Black Women and the Inquisition: Race, Gender, Healing, and Power

More than two hundred women of African descent were prosecuted by the Inquisition of the Canary Islands between 1505 and 1834. Most cases involved accusations of witchcraft, or its lesser charge, sorcery. The accusations involved healing practices that the religious authorities considered unorthodox. The accusers could be priests as well as lay people who, in some cases, were coerced to testify against these women on the basis of their social reputation as healers outside the legal and professional channels. These women competed against the male practitioners of faculty medicine as well as against curanderosand saludadores, men and women who were authorized to use a mixture of empirical healing knowledge with religious prayers to obtain cures or remedies to the health of individuals or entire groups. This presentation explores the tensions created when Black women in the Canary Islands practiced medicine and magic healing while negotiating their social exclusion due to their gender and race. The reputation some of these Black women gained broke boundaries of religious and social prohibition. The Inquisition moved against many of these Black women on charges both of heresy—use of religious objects and words without authorization—and professional impropriety—practicing medicine without proper faculty—a crime that clearly fell outside the jurisdiction of the Holy Office.

Helen Melling (Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, U.K.), Contested Visions of Black Wet Nurses in 18th & 19th Century Lima

Portraits of infants alongside their black wet nurses and nannies were incorporated into the family albums of the wealthiest Peruvian and European immigrant families in Lima from the 1860s, coinciding with the immediate post-abolition period in Peru. Although the creole elite’s preference in employing wet nurses of African-descent is examined and contested in late 18th century discourses, their presence in Peruvian visual culture does not arise until the advent of photography, producing the first images to make visible a practice that dates from Peru’s colonial and slaveholding past. The duplicity of these portraits resides in the dissonance between the marginal or supposedly ‘invisible’ presence of the wet nurse, and their centrality in the formation of an elite identity. This tension ruptures the fantasy of masterly ownership and creole ‘whiteness’, with the wet nurse constituting a deeply ambivalent symbol of the socio-racial pedigree of the elite.

16:15-16:30 Break

16.30-18.15

Carmen Fracchia (Birkbeck, University of London, U.K.), The Colour of Freedom in Hapsburg Spain (16th-17th Centuries)

This paper addresses the ways in which visual artists articulate and problematize the hegemonic associations of the appearance of (a) blackness as the social condition of slavery and the appearance of (b) whiteness as the social condition of freedom in the visual form. It will also focus on the hegemonic idea of ‘whiteness’ as the exclusive referent of the concept of humanity and on ‘blackness’ as the referent of Afro-Hispanic counter-culture as articulated in anonymous poems written individually and collectively by enslaved and liberated Afro-Hispanic people in the Spanish black confraternities.

José Miguel López García (University Autónoma of Madrid, Spain), In Pursuit of Freedom: Emancipated, Coartados, and Marrooned in Madrid (1701-1820)

During the Bourbon Dynasty, slaves in Madrid could obtain their freedom through letters of emancipation, deeds of ransom (coartación), or by running away. This paper, based on the analysis of 344 documents from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the early 19th century, considers the different degrees and routes to freedom that slaves could aspire to in a European capital city.

Luis Méndez Rodriguez (University of Seville, Spain), Narratives and Fictions Around Slavery: Towards A New Artistic Imaginary

This work analyzes the elements which defined artistic narratives and which allowed the spread of a visual culture of transatlantic slavery through the Hispanic world from the beginning of the seventeenth century. The Baroque created a set of archetypal images of Afro-Hispanic people, based eitheron their integration into, or their social exclusion from Hispanic societies. In this way, many groups congregated into ethnicbrotherhoods where they found a space to protect themselves from external threats, based on solidarity which allowed their visible participation in the public space. This paper also analyzes a set of images which formed an iconography of slavery. In the artistic context, some slaves not only achieved their freedom but also developed a profession and a certain social recognition. Their presence is studied in the development of a first artistic historiography based on documentary evidence, which also reveals how a fictional discourse of Afro-Hispanic lives was generated in the centuries that followed.

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Featured Exhibition: Descubriendo a Luis Masson, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid, until 26 August

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As part of the 20thanniversary edition of the mass photography display of contemporary and historic works, PHotoESPAÑA (6 June-26 August 2018, venues across Madrid, Barcelona and in Valencia), the Museo Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid will open an exhibition Descubriendo a Luis Masson commemorating the work of the French 19th-century photographer Luis Masson (born 1825), who produced a complete topographical photographic study of Spain and was also noted for his photographic reproductions of the works of Murillo. Masson established himself in Seville in 1858 with his wife, Lorenza Simonin, with whom he worked over the next eight years producing a wide range of architectural photographs, some stereoscopic, of Seville and other Andalucian cities and monuments, working in particular for the Duque de Montpensier. In 1866 he moved to Madrid, recording from there the cities of Toledo, Ávila, Valladolid, Salamanca and Burgos, before returning to Seville at the end of the 1870s, where he was last recorded in 1881.The photographs are selected from the private Colección Fernández Rivero de Fotografía Antigua, which owns about 35,000 original photographs ranging from the 1840s through to the early decades of the 20thcentury. It focuses its collections on Spanish images and in particular photographs created in Andalucia, with a special section on Málaga and its province.  The exhibition was previously shown (January-March 2018) at the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, Almería. An accompanying monograph by Juan Antonio Fernández Rivero and María Teresa García Ballesteros, Descubriendo a Luis Masson, fotógrafo en la España del XIX which inventories 511 of Masson’s photographs was published by  Ediciones del Genal, Málaga in 2017.

Workshop: Nuevos caminos del hispanismo, 16–17 October 2018, Casa de Velázquez, Madrid

ehehi-bis-500x191Click here for more information on a three-day residential workshop at the Casa Velázquez in Madrid. Intended for young researchers, the workshop will explore new currents in Hispanic studies. It is organised around a series of lectures by the following scholars:

Carlos MARTÍNEZ SHAW (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid / Real Academia de la Historia).
Alicia ALTED VIGIL (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid)
Louise BÉNAT-TACHOT (Université Paris – Sorbonne)
Fernando BOUZA ÁLVAREZ (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Serge GRUZINSKI (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris)
Roberto MONDOLA (Università degli Studi l’Orientale di Napoli)
José Luis SÁNCHEZ NORIEGA (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Jesusa VEGA GONZÁLEZ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

followed by extensive discussion in Spanish and French.

The deadline for enrolment is 12 July 2018 at 5pm. Applicants are required to fill an application form, which will be evaluated on the basis of academic record and language fluency. The 20 selected candidates will be notified after 20 July 2018. The workshop costs 50 euros inclusive of accommodation and lunch. African and Latin American applicants may be selected for a scholarship of 300 euros, intended as a contribution towards travel costs.

 

Opens today: Dibujos de Luis Paret (1746-1799) at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid

paret_cubierta-616x800Luis Paret y Alcázar (Madrid, 1746‒1799) has been hailed as a ‘spontaneous and joyful’ painter who allowed himself to be ‘overly’ influenced by French art. Labelled as the ‘Spanish Watteau’ and the most genuine representative of Rococo painting in the
country, he has long been considered the second most important painter of his day after Goya.

However, these considerations are a direct consequence of a historiographical discourse more concerned with contrasting the two artists than with attributing Paret’s heterodoxy (he was a pupil of La Traverse and court painter to the Infante Don Luis) to his eventful life, his artistic interests and his background.

The above factors provide a backdrop to Dibujos de Luis Paret (1746-1799). Open until 16 September, the exhibition is curated by Alejandro Martínez Pérez, a historian well versed in the Paret’s life and career who sets out to clarify the historiographical lacunae by examining the artist’s main instrument – his drawings – reconstructing his personal library and analysing his relationships with his patrons.

The show – featuring a total of 188 pieces including drawings (84), paintings, prints, books and manuscripts – has been made possible by the collaboration and loans of important private collections and institutions, both Spanish and foreign, such as the Museo Nacional del Prado, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Real Academia
de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Rijksmuseum, the Real Academia Española, the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano and the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas.

Organised by the BNE and the CEEH, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue raisonné of Luis Paret’s drawings, which is set to become a reference work for studies on the artist. Published by CEEH, the catalogue can be purchased here. Until 15 June, our readers can benefit from a 10% discount.

Closing this week: ‘Sorolla y la moda’, Museo Sorolla and Museo Thyssen Bornemisza Collection, Madrid

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The exhibition Sorolla y la moda closes on 27 May at the Museo Sorolla in Madrid.
Curated by Eloy Martínez de la Pera, it investigates the connections between Sorolla’s painting and fashion between 1890 and the 1920s.

Click here and here to find out more.

Three new acquisitions on show at the Prado Museum

Three important new acquisitions are temporarily on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid:

Saint John the Baptist in a Landscape, an oil on copper by Juan Bautista Maíno (1581–1649), strongly influenced by the artist’s Roman period.

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The copper plate for a print portraying an auto da fé in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, engraved by in 1680 by Flemish artist Gregorio Fosman, one of the outstanding printmakers of the seventeenth century. The print is related to Francisco Rizi’s famous painting of the same subject, also in the Prado.

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Luis Paret’s A celestina [procuress] and the lovers, a work of 1784, inspired by the famous play La Celestina by Francisco de Rojas (1499), which foreshadows the satire of interpersonal relationships characteristic of Goya’s Caprichos 12129_1

 

Marvel or monster? Madrid’s Torres Colón to become protected architectural heritage

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El País reports that the Colón Towers, two high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Madrid’s Plaza de Colón and Biblioteca Nacional, may soon become listed. Designed by Antonio Lamela (December 1, 1926–April 1, 2017), the towers’ suspended structure was innovative at the time of their construction, between 1967 and 1976. In the 1990s new fire regulations resulted in the construction of an art nouveau roof, known as ‘el enchufe’ (‘the plug’), which links the towers and provides access to an emergency staircase.  

According to the Asociación para la Protección de las Torres Colón, which is campaigning for the recognition of the towers’ architectural importance, ‘su valor arquitectónico, del que su sistema estructural es parte indiscutible y esencial, además de su proyección nacional e internacional, merece ser reconocido como parte del patrimonio arquitectónico madrileño.’

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