Paola de la Calle, Bendiciones (Celebramos Sin Ti) 2022. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Dara Katrina Del Rosario
Communications & Partnerships Manager
[email protected]

Artist Paola de la Calle’s first solo exhibition In This House We Are All Buried Alive
examines relationship between power and memory

On view at SOMArts, July 20–August 27, 2023
Opening reception, Friday, July 28, 7:30–10:00 PM PST

June 5, 2023, San Francisco, CA– SOMArts presents Colombian-American interdisciplinary artist Paola de la Calle’s first solo exhibition, In This House We Are All Buried Alive. On view July 20–August 27, 2023, De la Calle examines the relationship between power and memory–what becomes the memory of a culture? Of a family? Who benefits when memories are forgotten? Drawing inspiration from Colombian poet María Mercedes Carranza’s piece “La Patria” (“The Motherland”), De la Calle threads together personal and collective memory to repair the ruptures of historical amnesia.

“When we reflect on the ways systems of power have shaped our lives, looking toward the past can be difficult. By tapping into nostalgia and anchoring her work in personal symbols and material objects that shape daily life, Paola’s artwork is a reminder that we are not solely defined by trauma–we have the agency to shape memories and tell our stories,” says Carolina Quintanilla, SOMArts’ Gallery Director.

Paola de la Calle is a trained printmaker who has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, and is recognized for her meditations on home, borders, identity, and nostalgia. For her debut solo exhibition, she shares the sacred and private aspects of her practice, inviting audiences to experience mundane, everyday objects and symbols as portals to the past, present, and future. She incorporates sound she’s collected for over seven years, family archival footage and photographs she’s unearthed and digitized, ceramics, and found objects she considers as artifacts. When woven together, De La Calle fills SOMArts’ Main Gallery with large scale vignettes rooted in her immigrant diasporic experience.

“I’m interested in the veil between the past, present, and future, and how objects act as portals through space and time,” shares De La Calle. “Each piece in the show tells an unfinished story influenced by personal memory, historical archives, and my family’s history. I hope when folks are immersed in the gallery they’re able to draw connections between their lived experiences and the forces that have shaped them.”

Image courtesy of the artist

This process of unearthing is exemplified in De la Calle’s use of natural, ephemeral materials such as soil, coffee, cotton, and iron, which are fundamental to the works. When exposed to light, water, and time, the artwork made with iron will begin to erode. These works will eventually be remembered only through written and photographic documentation, storytelling, and first-hand accounts, mimicking how we experience memory and remembering.

De La Calle’s landmark exhibition investigates how the social-political histories of the United States and Colombia shape family narratives, influence identity, and transform cultural memory. In This House We Are All Buried Alive is a testament to the necessity of collective remembrance and resistance against the institutionalizing of historical amnesia.

Where María Mercedes Carranza’s poem ends, Paola de la Calle’s exhibition begins.

Thursday, 3:00–7:30 PM; Friday, 12:00–7:30 PM;
Saturday–Sunday, 12:00–5:00 PM 

Calendar listings are subject to change based on COVID–19 safety protocols. Learn more by visiting

In This House We Are All Buried Alive
Exhibition Run
Thursday, July 20 –Sunday, August 27, 2023

Multidisciplinary solo exhibition featuring the works of Colombian-American artist Paola de la Calle and her investigation on personal and collective memory. Entry to the gallery is free, all ages during open hours.

To learn more, visit:

In This House We Are All Buried Alive
Opening Reception
Friday, July 28, 7:30–10:00 PM PST

Join us in celebrating the opening of Paola de la Calle’s In This House We Are All Buried Alive.

To learn more, visit:


SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect, and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events, and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines, and bike paths. For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.