Jordanna Mendelson Conversatorio

"In Circulation: Hisotries of Photography in Spain"
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Conversatorio: Noon (12:00PM)
Rochambeau House, Library



The history of photography in Spain, as within any national context, is complex and multi-layered. On the one hand, the medium and its development in Spain represent part of an international dialogue about invention, representation, and spectacle that marked the late 19th century and early 20th. On the other, photography's entrance and survival in print culture, and the importance of print culture to the status of photography among artists and the public, is of special importance in Spain because unlike other national contexts there wasn't the same embrace of the medium among gallery owners, collectors, or critics. This talk will discuss over-arching ideas about the role of print culture in creating and defining a national history of photography in Spain, with special attention to pivot points within that history where one sees a conflation of the writing of history and the making of photography, especially during the 1930s and the 1970s.


Jordana Mendelson is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. Professor Mendelson's research focuses on early twentieth-century visual culture in Spain. She is the author of numerous articles as well as Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation 1929-1939 (Penn State University Press, 2005) and Revistas y Guerra 1936-1939/Magazines and War 1936-1939 (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2007). She is also the co-author of Margaret Michaelis: Fotografía, Vanguardia y Política en la Barcelona de la República (Institut Valencià d'Art Moderno, 1999) and co-editor of Postcards: Ephemeral Histories of Modernity (Penn State University Press, 2010) with David Prochaska.  In addition to a her academic publications, she has curated several exhibitions, including “The 1930s” (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2012-2013),  “Revistas y Guerra 1936-1939/Magazines and War 1936-1939," (Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2007), and “Other Weapons: Photography and Print Culture during the Spanish Civil War” (International Center of Photography, 2007).