Jose Roca is a curator and art critic based in Bogota, Columbia. Prolific and international in his approach, Roca has curated major shows in New York, Barcelona, Philadelphia and Caracas, as well as at home and has been involved in several of the larger international exhibitions of contemporary art in south and central America.  His notable presence was recently acknowledged by the American Center Foundation which awarded him a grant for emerging curator. From 1994 on, he has been director of both the art collections and exhibitions at the Museums of the Central Bank of Columbia, and from 1998 he has maintained and directed a vibrant website for contemporary art and culture, Columna de Arena.

Currently Roca's central commitment is Philagrafika 2010, the inaugural presentation of a multi-sited international festival of contemporary printmaking in Philadelphia. The first of the planned quadrennials, Philagrafika 2010 will focus on artistic practices that explore visual and intellectual frontiers in printmaking today. In 2010, it will be titled The Graphic Unconscious: Prints at the Core of Contemporary Artistic Production.


Roca stayed at the JCVA during April 2008. He was widely introduced to the local art scene in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem regions, and visited the Herzliya museum where he will be curating a show of Columbian artist Oscar Munoz's work in 2009.  His visits to the printmaking studios in Jaffa, Kibbutz Cabri and Jerusalem were important for his preparations for Philagrafika 2010, and many artists and curators attended the talk he gave on the Philadelphia exhibition at the Bezalel Academy's Tel Aviv center. In addition to discussing the upcoming quadrennial, Roca gave an insider's view of past biennials he was involved in. Describing himself with a smile as "a sort of biennale rescuer," he mentioned his participation in reviving the Medellin exhibition by extending it to six months of exhibitions in the city and the renewal of the Sao Paulo biennial through national representation and historical attention.

Over his stay, Roca managed a tour of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and the north of Israel. He also saw the Anila Rubiko show at the Braverman Gallery in Tel Aviv, The 16 Ways. On his first visit to Israel, he was quite impressed with the local scene, and expects fruitful cooperation in the coming years.

Jose Roca