One of these new myths is the overcoming of visual limitations: perceiving the invisible, whether by means of apparatuses that capture the infinitely small or the disproportionately large, through invisible forms of energy such as X rays, or thanks to the recording and reproduction of the image of the absent though photography and then film. Since at a certain frequency light ceases to be visible, at the end of the 19th century the existence of a sphere of souls, or perhaps of God, seemed possible. “Man seemed about to find a scientific basis for his belief that the intangible world of the theological imaginary could be real after all …, if he managed to find the right instruments to detect it”(1). Yet these beliefs have their ironic and playful counterpoint. Just as photography was used to prove the existence of beings from beyond the grave within the spiritualists’ belief system, it also found a use in the field of recreational science and technology applied to show business(2). Grabaketa appeals to the imaginary present on the fringes of dominant culture: science fiction, comics, the popular press, television… recording the supernatural, whose landmark expression is probably Poltergeist (1982), the film by Tobe Hooper.

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1. Andrew Delbanco: The Death of Satan. New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1995. (Our translation).
2. Clément Chéroux says that in the 1860s some publishers of binocular photographs, such as the London Steresocopic Company, commercialised complete series of ghosts, angels or fairies as objects of amusement. See: Clément Chéroux: “El caso de la fotografía espiritista. La imagen espectral: entre la diversión y la convicción”, in Acto # 4. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Acto Ediciones, 2008, p. 195.

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