As in the paintings known by the name Vanitas, death has a habit of appearing in many aspects of Spanish culture: from the poetry of Teresa de Jesús to that of García Lorca; from the images of Goya to those of Dalí, and in the still very vital world of the bullfight. It provides an austere backdrop which enhances the vitality and colour of the Spanish spirit.
In this book Cristóbal Hara takes death as his travelling companion on a voyage to the furthest corners of the country and returns with images which sum up -better than the guidebooks and the monuments- that special personality which Spain still manages to retain.
However, what Vanitas really expresses is the burial of the stereotyped images of the so-called Eternal Spain, and the irony deals their death-blow, situating them accurately in present-day Spain, without diminishing their immense cultural value.
This is the first book in which Hara moves forward towards the construction of sense using a narrative language. This way of conceiving a book also represents a revolution on the Spanish photographic scene of that time. Published in 1998 by Photovision and Mestizo, two of the Spanish publishing houses that have taken on more risk to offer us good photobooks, we wanted to rescue this book because its undoubtedly one of the essentials in any Spanish photobook collection.
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