DC.es | A Gaze at Washington, D.C. by five Spanish Photographers

  • Visual arts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Thu, Dec 07, 2023 —
    Fri, Mar 15, 2024
DC.es | A Gaze at Washington, D.C. by five Spanish Photographers

This exhibition is the culmination of a project that gathers the work of five Spanish artists and their personal outlooks of the world’s political capital.

DC.es has been conceived as a project where five Spanish photographers, all of them fellows from the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome that celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, share their gazes of Washington through their lenses —gazes as personal, singular, and unique as the city itself.

The urban gaze of Juan Baraja, who takes a trip down the city’s pulsating main thoroughfare, rubs shoulders with the reflection on identity by Jesús Madriñán via individual and collective portraits. Taking nature as her starting point, Paula Anta delves into subjects like uprooting and what it means to be human, while Rosell Meseguer assembles an herbarium that reveals Washington, D.C. through its plants, and Nicolás Combarro questions the meaning and context of its monuments and the reasons for their existence.

Including the work of all five photographers, a collective showcase will put an end to this project that has included several individual exhibitions over the last year at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain in Washington, D.C.

The great Robert Walser wrote, surely after one of his famous walks, that nature does not go abroad. Neither does Washington it’s still here. And foreigners, unlike Americans, don’t come to visit it either, or at least not as much as they visit its cousin, New York, which leads to an inevitable sense of déjà vu when you eventually see it. This is not the case with Washington: although we do indeed have images of its monuments fixed in our mind, this is not true of its streets and neighborhoods. It is thus a pleasantly surprising city to visit, let alone live in and become a part of.

And we have brought to Washington five highly talented Spanish photographers —Juan Baraja, Paula Anta, Jesús Madriñán, Rosell Meseguer, and Nicolás Combarro— who have two things in common but are different in almost every other respect. First, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Spain’s most prominent overseas cultural institution, they have all previously received grants from the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome. Second, these photographers belong to the same outstanding generation, with a significant body of work to its credit. And that is where the commonality ends because their ways of looking at the world differ, and their techniques and even formats do so. However, they are all fully aware that the very act of taking a photo involves making moral decisions.

They were given clear instructions: a stay of ten days, ten photos, total freedom (obviously), and a book and this exhibition at the end - with a legendary institution as a local partner: the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, now part of GWU. Its students took portraits of our photographers, and its classrooms played host to talks and workshops they gave.

DC.es is the fruit of their visit: five Spanish photographers’ views of this city with so much symbolic weight yet so much life, so many monuments yet so much nature, and so much diversity, so many people from elsewhere, just like the photographers themselves. A creator sees a commission as a stimulus, as an invitation to steer their obsessions and perspectives in a particular direction, and as an incentive to concentrate their talent on one subject. These views could not be more distinct, but at the same time they couldn’t be more Washingtonian. They are a gift from our creators to this city, and to all of us as well.

—Miguel Albero, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Washington D.C.

Mockup of the DC.es microsite as viewed on an iPad


Venue map

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009


Free. Open during scheduled events, and by appointment. Book your visit from Monday to Friday (except holidays and special events days), from 10 am to 3 pm, at [email protected].


Presented by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.



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