Rossina Cazali

Fellow: Awarded 2010

Field of Study: Fine Arts Research

Competition: Latin America & Caribbean

Rossina Cazali is an art critic and independent curator living and working in Guatemala. She is currently a columnist and collaborator for the Guatemalan newspaper El Periódico. For more than twenty years she has worked in the contemporary arts field in Guatemala and Central America. Her experience on curatorial practices and art criticism has been acquired in a deeply complex context lacking on basic infrastructure. For almost thirty-five years Guatemala lived through a civil war that both generated an environment of violence and fragmented society. The intense political conflict weakened the few governmental institutions dedicated to culture and arts promotion. In this situation, she took curatorial work as a space and practice from which she could both document and analyze how local artistic movements sprung up in such a hostile context. As a still-non-recognized profession in Guatemala, curatorial work has been Cazali's ground from which she has developed projects outside the conventional art circles.

In 1998, Cazali co-founded Colloquia, a contemporary art space. From 2003 to 2009, she served as the artistic director of Foto30, a photography festival launched by her in 2003. She published the first release of Colección Pensamiento, a series of interviews with contemporary Guatemalan intellectuals (2007). In addition, she has been the curator selected for Guatemala in several international biennials and has curated exhibitions in different countries of Latin America and Spain. She acted as speaker for Curatorial Practice and Criticism in Latin America, organized by Bard College, NewYork, 2001; for theoretical encounters at Documenta, in Mexico City and Cairo, Egypt, 2006. She participated in the project 9 Curators, organized by Gerardo Mosquera and the Cultural Center of Spain in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, 2008, and she participated as a guest lecturer at "Performing Localities," organized by the Royal College of Art, London, 2009, and as photography specialist and critic at “Trasatlántica," organized in 2009 by Photo España in São Paulo, Brasil. She acted as the director for the Cultural Center of Spain in Guatemala from 2003 to 2006.

As part of her fellowship, Rosina Cazali will write a book analyzing the contemporary art period in Guatemala, between 2000 and 2010. The goal of her project is to identify and to develop the theoretical framework that explains the emergence of contemporary artistic practices within a context of great institutional weakness but immersed in the surprising dynamics of historical, social, and political change.