DC.es: Uproot by Paula Anta
Paula Anta is the second guest of DC.es, a project where five Spanish photographers from the Spanish Academy in Rome share their gazes of Washington through their lenses — gazes as personal, singular and unique as the city itself.
The second work within DC.es portrays the journey of Spanish photographer Paula Anta. In this photography exhibition entitled Uproot on view at the Former Residence, Anta explores nature and the uprooting process from a new perspective.
Uprooting is the loss or corruption of the roots and symbolizes an estrangement or loss of vital meaning. The exhibition showcases three photographic series taken in different parks inside and outside of Washington, D.C.
The Uproot series displays images of tree roots that, due to age or illness, have fallen. Their new state, even if it is already lifeless, turns visible what has remained hidden under the soil. The fall of the tree verticalizes the root, almost like a wall, carrying in its nooks and crannies stones, sand, and all nutrients of the soil. The root is presented almost like a steroid floating back again among the hidden, connecting the shapes and forms that belong to the inner and the outside, in a kind of cosmos.
Thermal Nature presents a diptych of rhizome images through the shapes of almost symmetrical patterns. They are roots and branches in mangroves, rivers, and their mouths. The hidden part that emerges and disappears by the fall and rise of the water. Printed on thermal blankets, they allude to the temperature changes that our planet is suffering and the importance of trying to maintain those that ensure our survival.
Lastly, the Hoist series is an act of salvation. The fallen tree that arises, even if it is through an artistic action or intervention. Once more, the banks of the Potomac hide the roots, to hoist the trees as landmarks. These, again, show their richness as triumphant poles that wave, to the beat of the air, the sacredness of the forms.
About the artist
Paula Anta received her PhD in Fine Arts from the Complutense University of Madrid (2015), completing the European PhD in collaboration with the Akademie de Künste in Berlin and the University of Saarbrücken.
In Spain her work has been shown in the most important art centers and museums such as the Contemporary Art Museum of Madrid CA2M, Tabacalera, Matadero Centre for Contemporary Creation, Royal Botanic Garden, CBA in Madrid, Contemporary Culture Centre CCCB (Barcelona), Sa Nostra Cultural Centre (Palma de Mallorca), Laboral City of Culture (Gijón), Niemeyer Centre (Avilés), DA2 Museum (Salamanca) and several editions of the PhotoEspaña International Photography Festival.
Paula Anta’s work has been shown both in individual and collective exhibitions as well as in institutional venues such as in the Art D’Égypte International exhibition (Cairo, Egypt), Nobel Prize Museum (Stockholm, Sweden), CCE Santiago (Santiago, Chile), Städtische Galerie Viersen (Viersen, Germany), Spanish Cultural Center (Montevideo, Uruguay), Galerie Municipale du Chateau D’eau (Toulouse, France), Cité Internationale Universitaire (París, France), Museum of Giovani Fattori (Livorno Italy), Spanish Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy).
Anta has earned various awards and accolades such as the Culture Prize of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (2023), the XI International Biennial Prize for Contemporary Photography Pilar Citoler (2021), Mallorca Council Photography Award (2020), International Photography Award of the UNESCO Extremadura (2020).
She has been granted several reputable scholarships for art creation such as the Scholarship in the Spanish Academy in Rome (2011-2012), the Scholarship for Visual Arts and Photography in the Spanish College in Paris (2012-2013), the Art Creation Award of the Regional Authority of Madrid (2008-2009) and the Ankaria Foundation residency “Transversia” program in Senegal (2018).