2-8 December – Raphael Chikukwa & José Roca
Chief Curator National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Born in Zimbabwe and worked mainly as an independent curator for more than ten years before joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe mid 2010 as its Chief Curator. He is the founding curator of the 1st Zimbabwe Pavilion in 2011 and also curated the Zimbabwe Pavilion 2013, 2015 and 2017 at the Venice Biennale. Chikukwa is also a founding member of the PUMA funded Creative Africa Network as an editor and advisor of the project from 2008 – 2009. After taking Zimbabwe to Venice in 2011, Chikukwa has taken part in a number of Forums that include, Art Basel Salon 2015, Cape Town Art Fair 2016, Re Zimbabwe Pavilion talk at INIVA (London) 1st World Biennale Forum in South Korea, KLA 2012 (Uganda), Condition Report forum in Senegal and Arco Madrid 2013. He is also the co-curator for the Basket Case exhibition 2014, co-curator of Kabbo Ka Muwala: Migration and Mobility in Contemporary Art, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Germany.
His qualifications and international experience earned this position at the national institution, which he hopes to change the visual arts landscape of Zimbabwe. Chikukwa who was awarded the 2006 – 2007 Chevening Scholar now holds an MA Curating Contemporary Design from Kingston University London. The 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in 1997 provided an impetus to Raphael’s curatorial career after working as a volunteer guide for the Biennale. He later moved to his home country Zimbabwe as a process of relocation to his motherland. Chikukwa is a founding staff member of the PUMA funded Creative Africa Network as an editor and advisor of the project from 2008 – 2009. Recently he was among seven Curators from Africa attending the Tate Modern Symposium “Curating Africa” where he presented a paper on his curatorial practice. In 2008, Chikukwa represented Africa at the 2008 Art Basel Miami Conversations in the United States of America. The American Centre Foundation also awarded Raphael a curatorial research grant in 2006 – 2007 and he travelled in West Africa for his curatorial research.
Artistic Director FLORA ars+natura, Bogota (Colombia)
José Roca is a Colombian curator working from Bogotá. He is currently the Artistic Director of FLORA ars+natura, and curator of the LARA collection, Singapore. From 2012 to 2015 he was the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate, London. He managed for a decade the arts program at the Banco de la República in Bogotá. Roca was a co-curator of the I Poly/graphic Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004), the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006) and the Encuentro de Medellín MDE07 (2007), and was the Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international Triennial celebrating print in contemporary art. He served on the awards jury for the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007), and was the chief curator of the 8 Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011). He is the author of Transpolitical: art in Colombia 1992-2012 (with Sylvia Suárez), and Waterweavers: A Chronicle of Rivers (with Alejandro Martín), published by the Bard Graduate Center in New York in conjunction with the exhibition Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture (2014).
José Roca and Raphael Chikukwa, took part in a talk hosted by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam on Friday 7 December 2018.