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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ghosts on the ground: Janelle Lynch's "Barcelona" explores loss and regeneration

Janelle Lynch's Barcelona explores loss and regeneration

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Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 10:33 pm, Thu Apr 10, 2014.

There are no images of popular historic landmarks in Janelle Lynch’s new monograph Barcelona, no Sagrada Família, Magic Fountain, or other such attractions. Her photographs are moody images of woods, rivers, muddy banks, and stones. But the book is no less about a sense of place. Lynch spent four years in Spain beginning in 2007 and photographed the terrain around Barcelona. What emerges is a subtle parley between nature and people, ghosts whose presence is detected in bits of rag caught in the wind and stuck on riverbanks, hunks of metal and other debris half hidden under overgrown reeds, and trees that hang like weary sentinels over water. 

Barcelona contains images from five series of photographs Lynch shot and is divided into five sections: The Llobregat, Fig Trees, Portraits, Walls, and Ground. Each series is introduced by her writings, and each written statement is printed in English and Spanish. The Llobregat is a Catalonian river Lynch photographed in the areas of El Prat, Sant Boi, and Cornellà. In several images from the series, pylons rise above the slate-gray waters of the river amid wild grasses, scrub brush, and leafless trees. The color is muted, and the feeling evinced is melancholy.

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