José Roca

Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney
Online meetings throughout February

José Roca is a Colombian curator, currently the Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. He runs FLORA ars+natura, an independent space for contemporary art in Bogotá.

From 2012 to 2015 Roca was the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate, London, and from 2012-20 he was the curator of the LARA collection, Singapore. For a decade he managed the arts program at the Banco de la República (MAMU) in Bogotá. Moreover, 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). He was also the Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international Triennial celebrating print in contemporary art.

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).

Roca’s work is heavily influenced by the relationship between art and nature, and the 23rd Biennale of Sydney will have a strong focus on sustainability and collaboration. Roca will reduce the environmental impact of the Biennale, limiting international travel during the research process by working with a worldwide network of colleagues, (re)producing works locally, and working inter-institutionally to optimise resources. The team of curators for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney will also include Paschal Daantos Berry, head of learning at participation at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Anna Davis, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Hannah Donnelly, producer of First Nations programs at Information + Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.); and Talia Linz, curator at Artspace in Sydney.

Portrait of Jose Roca, smiling to camera.

José Roca. Image by Alejandra Quintero