Paola Dávila

Paola Dávila

Agua-Cielo: Tan azul, el mar, el cielo


-> Apr 20 – Jun 1

Patricia Conde Galería

Patricia Conde Galería presents Agua-Cielo: Tan azul, el mar, el cielo, the solo show of the artist and photographer Paola Dávila, curated by Laura González Flores.

It seems incredible that “blue,” the color that distinguishes the recent work of Paola Dávila, is not mentioned even once in The Odyssey. When Homer describes the sea, the main setting of his story, he simply talks about the “dark and deep.” It was later that the Greeks began to use kyanos for dark blue and glaukos for light and greenish blue.

Made on the beaches of the Sea of Cortez, Dávila's works emerge from that sea, so blue. The artist renounces her ability to represent to, instead, cause her papers and silks prepared with the cyanotype solution to encounter natural elements. With the water, salt, and algae that come off their natural environment to die on the beach. The algae leave their trail on the humid sand of that laboratory-landscape. And they write, thanks to the luminous energy of the sun, the chemistry of salts, and the physics of tides, authentic photo-graphs, writings of light. Or water-sky images.

Can we face the sea, so blue? Or the sky? In their infinite shades of blue, in their random shapes, Paola Dávila's works invite us to immerse ourselves in the darkness and depth of our time: a time in which the human species has preyed on and contaminated its habitat to the point of almost exhausting it. Her way of working also points towards new conceptions of contemporary art, in her case, that of biological art. An art that results from the collaborative agency of human and non-human entities and that, like the sea and the sky—water-sky—can be seen either together or separately.

Today, blue calls you. It invites you to immerse yourself in the depths of the images and find, perhaps, a different feeling from your time on earth.

Paola Dávila (Oaxaca, Mexico, 1980)

Since its beginnings, Paola Dávila's artistic work has used photography to investigate, through the creation of images, books, and installations, the meaning of “inhabiting.” They deal with the representation of houses, burrows, landscapes, or routes on a map; her images question the conditions that determine the cultural and social occupation of spaces. Public or private, these are always associated with affection: with the intimate, concrete, and sensitive experience of being in the world.

With 12 individual exhibitions and more than 40 group exhibitions in Mexico and abroad, Paola Dávila has received, among other recognitions, the Photography Biennial (Mexico, 2021) and Visual Arts Biennial (Yucatán, 2012) awards, the Tierney N.Y. scholarships (2010), the Artistic Residencies (Salzburg, 2014 and Banff, 2009) awards and Jóvenes Creadores (FONCA 2003, 2006 and 2011). She has been a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores since 2020.

Her work is part of the collection of the MUAC, the EPO Foundation, the Tierney Foundation, the Chopo University Museum, the National Photo Library, and the Manuel Álvarez Bravo Photographic Center, among others.

— Patricia Conde Gallery