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Contemporary Spanish Culture: Television, Fashion, Art and Film

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3053-3
192 pages
February 2003, Polity
Contemporary Spanish Culture: Television, Fashion, Art and Film (0745630537) cover image
This accessible introduction to the exciting field of contemporary Spanish visual culture is the first of its kind. It combines cultural context with close readings of particular works.


Going beyond the field of cinema, in which Spain is an acknowledged leader, Smith examines new developments in television, where original and innovative series drama has recently blossomed. He also explores Spanish fashion, where 'classic' design is married to high tech production and distribution.


Two aspects of Spanish visual art are considered: the career of Miquel Barceló, global artist and pure painter, and Basque conceptual art which, through photography and installation, puts a new spin on international questions of gender and sexuality.

Finally, Contemporary Spanish Culture examines Catalan independent cinema and the most recent work of Spain's best known director, Pedro Almodóvar, who has resurrected a genre long considered dead: the art movie.


This innovative new book provides an ideal introduction for undergraduates and will be essential reading for those working in Hispanic studies, cultural studies, and film.

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List of Illustrations.

Acknowledgements.

Introduction: Cultures of Distinction.

Chapter 1: Quality TV?: the periodistas notebook.

Chapter 2: Classic Fashion?: the Adolfo Dominguez sample book.

Chapter 3: Pure Painting?: The Miguel Barcelo sketch book.

Chapter 4: Queer Conceptualism?: Basque artists on the borders.

Chapter 5: Catalan Independence?: Ventura Pons's niche cinema.

Chapter 6: Resurrecting the Art Movie?: Aldomodovar's blue period.

Index
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Paul Julian Smith is the Professor of Spanish at the University of Cambridge
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This accessible introduction to contemporary Spanish culture is the first of its kind, combining cultural context with close readings of particular works.

Reviews new developments in television, where original and innovative series drama has recently blossomed.

Explores Spanish fashion, where 'classic' design is married to high tech production and distribution.

Examines two aspects of Spanish visual art: the career of Miquel Barcelo, global artist and pure painter, and Basque conceptual art which, through photography and installation, puts a new spin on international questions of gender and sexuality.

Considers Catalan independent cinema and the most recent work of Spain's best known director, Pedro Almodovar, who has resurrected a genre long considered dead: the art movie.

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"[Smith] touches on a multitude of areas of everyday life in Spain and, as an antidote to the pessimism of theorising about globalization, offers a passionate view of the distinctiveness of modern Spanish culture."

Times Higher Education Supplement

"Admirably clear, this book should attract interested general readers as well as the more obvious academic audience."

British Bulletin of Publications on Latin america, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain

"Paul Julian Smith's work is indispensable to the fields of film studies and
Spanish cultural studies. Impressive in its range and specificity, this book
weaves together cultural theory with detailed studies of Spanish television,
male fashion, visual arts and film."

Emilie L. Bergmann, University of California at Berkeley


"This is an excellent volume, ranging widely but also deeply over many lively issues."

Peter Evans, Queen Mary and Westfield, London


"Paul Julian Smith’s new book extends the reach of Spanish cultural studies into uncharted territories: through and beyond cinema and the visual arts to fashion and network television. Steeped in Bourdieu’s studies of cultural distinction, Smith is more cosmopolitan ethnographer than armchair academic as he develops a method of thick, layered, and multidisciplinary description to explain and analyse the intersection of markets and aesthetics in the production and consumption of sucessful TV drama, independent Catalan cinema or classic masculine fashion."

Kathleen M. Vernon, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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