'Carabanchel:' Book release and artist talk

  • Visual arts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wed, June 04, 2014
  • 6:30 pm — 9:30 pm
'Carabanchel:' Book release and artist talk

A reception and artist talk marking the release of a new book with photographs and text by artist Mark Parascandola about the Carabanchel prison in Madrid, Spain.

Parascandola’s Carabanchel book documents the former prison, its history and nearby community. Parascandola visited the Carabanchel site in October 2008, as a fierce debate over the future of the prison grew. Unknown then to the photographer and the community, the prison was to be demolished a few weeks later. Carabanchel gives audiences a view into the famous prison’s unique architecture as it was altered by Spanish graffiti artists.

The space was transformed into an immense, colorful museum of illicit street art, a defiant rejection of the repressive regime that created the prison, writes Parascandola, whose prose accompany his images. Today, the Carabanchel Prison, and the site on which it sits, is emblematic, more than any other location in the country, of both Spain’s turbulent past and persistent tensions between liberty and security.

The artist’s photography is characterized by studies of architecture and color. While the subject is deeply political, Parascandola’s artwork adds a new dimensions of light and beauty. Capturing a moment in time – that of urban destruction, public artwork and a symbol of oppression, Parascandola’s images show humanity’s struggle to create meaning in place.

About the artist

Mark lives and works in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC. A PhD epidemiologist by training, he uses photography to explore patterns of movement in human populations, focusing on architecture as evidence of often-invisible social, environmental and economic processes.

Mark has family roots in the desert landscape of Almería, Spain, and he is currently documenting the remains of old movie sets constructed in the region during the 1960s and 1970s. His exhibit “Once Upon a Time in Almería” was recently on view at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C. and the Miami Public Library.

His work has been featured at various galleries in Washington, DC and at Galería Acanto in Almeria, Spain and appears in the DC Art Bank and numerous individual collections.

Copies of the book will be available for $40 at the event. Afterwards, the book will be available for purchase online for $45.


Venue map

Studio 1469, 1469 Harvard St NW Rear, Washington, DC 20009. (Enter via the alley off 15th Street between Harvard Street and Columbia Road.)


Free and open to the public.

More information

Artist's website



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