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Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

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Mark Parascandola Tells New Story Using Forgotten Settings


A replica of Aqaba, a Red Sea port, constructed for the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. Click the photo to read more about the image on the artist’s website.

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

Borderstan photographer Mark Parascandola’s latest exhibition, Once Upon a Time in Almería, opens this Thursday, September 13 at the Spanish Embassy in Foggy Bottom. The collection of digital prints documents the unexpected landscape and surreal scenery in the desert of the Spanish Almería region.

Parascandola sought to capture this particular location in his native country because of its unique history as a set for several popular movies during the 1960s and 1970s. Filmmakers transformed the blank slate of the desert into America, Egypt, and everywhere in between for movies such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Patton, and Cleopatra. Remnants of various fictional settings still remain scattered throughout the landscape, and Parascandola captures the transformative power still lingering in these ruins.

The photographer often chronicles the story of place and his artistic obsession with architecture manifests itself throughout this work. “People think of architecture as being static or permanent, but it changes over time depending on who takes over the space and how it is affected by the surrounding environment,” Parascandola told Borderstan’s Cecile Oreste in January 2011.

If you’re willing to venture outside of the neighborhood, you can see Once Upon a Time at the Spanish Embassy from Thursday through November 16. The Embassy will also host an accompanying video and film program during the course of the exhibition.

Once Upon a Time in AlmerĂ­a

  • Embassy of Spain
  • 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm; Friday, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.


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- who has written 43 posts on Borderstan.

French grew up in Northern Virginia and has been a Borderstan resident since July 2011. She recently graduated from Duke University and now works in media events. Her interests include food, art, fashion and culture. On the weekends you can find her volunteering at the Phillips collection, eating at Hank’s Oyster Bar, or window-shopping on 14th Street. Email her at eliza@borderstan.com or follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref.

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