Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 07:41 pm est

‘Fotogramas’ exhibit displays Spanish magazine

Posted on February 14, 2013 | by Deeksha Mehta

Courtesy of NYU

For people living in Spain in the’40s and ’50s, cinema quickly became much more than a few hours of leisurely fun.

The “Fotogramas” exhibit on display at the King Juan Carlos I Center, which opened Tuesday, explores the significance of cinema for Spaniards who lived in a decade under a severely oppressive Franco dictatorship at the end of a brutal civil war. Founded in 1946, Fotogramas is the only Spanish film magazine that still exists today. The displays of photographs from the publication related to cinema, censorship and the general film culture document some of the iconic moments in cinematic history and provide nostalgic evidence of how cinema gave Spaniards hope for what life could someday be like.

“The glamour of Hollywood was really attractive to people at the time, partly as kind of distraction from everyday difficulties but also because it kept alive a feeling that things could be otherwise,” said Jo Labanyi, an NYU professor of modern Spanish culture.

Labanyi worked with Ana Cabello, the exhibit’s curator in Madrid, to bring the pieces from Spain to NYU. Visitors have the opportunity to flip though a full copy of the first-ever issue of Fotogramas.

Celebrity culture was an outlet for Spaniards to explore the lives of people who were not enduring hardship at home. A highlight of the exhibit is a set of 34 Fotogramas covers from 1946 to 1962 that feature some of the famed and idealized Hollywood actresses including Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.

“We took ones where the stars are recognizable,” Labanyi said. “We thought it’d be good to end with Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962 because that was an iconic moment.”

Aside from the glamour of cinema, the exhibit also touches upon the strict censorship that affected all forms of media at the time. Also featured are handbills from Labanyi’s personal research collection, examples of censored cinematic images, photographs of several luxury cinemas in Barcelona and Madrid and censorship reports for two Hollywood films.

“The key thing that was censored was sexuality,” Labanyi said.

This censorship is evident in photographs of actresses that were edited and made more modest to appease the government censors.

Susana Toro, a first year master’s student in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, found the doctored images to be fascinating.

“I think the censorship photos are really interesting because it shows how things have changed so much in just a few years,” Toro said.

A typical issue of Fotogramas is not much different from today’s celebrity magazines like People or Us Weekly. Since the target audience was primarily female, the magazine contained gossip about the love lives of famous film stars. The magazine also features fashion, film reviews, recipes, quizzes as well as a lot of photographs of Hollywood starlets living their daily lives, giving Spaniards hope about their own lives.

“It was interesting to see how much Spanish people idealized film stars back then,” said Stern freshman Jewel Jiang. “We still seem to idealize them today.”

“Fotogramas” exhibit will be on display at the King Juan Carlos I Center until May 3, 2013.

 

Deeksha Mehta is a contributing writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

 

 

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next