Interview: Paula Anta
Luca Curci talks with Paula Anta, one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – JANUARY 2021.
Paula Anta arranges her work in photography series deriving from ideas which are developed on the ground, mostly through stage settings which form up the resulting image by way of installation. The relationship between nature and the artificiality of man-made structures, together with history and voyage, form the core of her work which, from a conceptual point of view, is focused on depicting the significance of each landscape as a cultural fact in itself.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Paula Anta – Art is a medium that allows us to link directly to our sensitivity and our creative essence. I consider my work as a result of discovering experiences. In this process, I connect with an emotional, subtle, intangible but emotive experience. The origin of this process has to be with my interest in images and their qualitative value from the point of view of transmitting feelings.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
PA – I am working on a photographic and sculptural series that I made in Senegal. The Khamekaye series was executed in the Grande-Côte, a 150 km-long stretch of Senegal’s coastline between the northern outskirts of Dakar and the River Senegal estuary. Every now and then on this big expanse of beaches and sand dunes, one can make out structures made up of branches, plastic, fishing nets and various objects, rising up out of the sea, the sand and the vegetation, At first sight they look like formless, chaotic objects, tangles of branches and plastics that seem to have been washed up by the tides. But their composition, their vertical, somehow dynamic, presence in a place lashed by wind, water and salt invite curiosity as to what they are and what they are doing stuck out there in that particular place. Chaos provides opportunities to make wonderful discoveries, and little by little, to the observer’s eye, these tangled structures begin to take on more defined forms: animals, fantastic creatures, specific beings with arms, legs, heads, in movement, in groups, even foreshortened figures. Normally my work focuses on the relationship between nature and the artificiality of man-made structures, history and voyage also configure the core of my work.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
PA – I don’t remember a specific moment that took me to decide that I was going to be a professional photographer. Actually, there were several circumstances in my life that were not only related to the nature of photographic language, but rather to the creative process and artistic expression.
LC – How much is the editing process important? How’s yours?
PA – It depends on the project. In general, I understand the editing process as an important part of every series I work on but it is never the same considering the particularities of each project.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And contemporary art?
PA – The artist has the ability to see beyond what is shown related with the appearances of reality and in addition to create and make real their own perceptions originated in their imagination. For this it’s important to connect with tangible, invisible, intuitive, material, social, economic, biological, historical, etc., worlds. All these values are essential for the development of the human being, both in relation to his physical and spiritual environment.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
PA – With my different photographic series, I try to bring nature beyond its actual capabilities but without imposture. I create possible situations that leave the door open to different narratives most of the times starting from a landscape or an apparently spontaneous place without imposing a forced narrative.