PROYECTO LAICA is an independent initiative and a transdisciplinary platform dedicated to research, critical analysis, documentation, reflection and dissemination of contemporary art in Guatemala. Likewise, it aims to strengthen networks of scholars interested in the artistic production of this Central American country.
PROYECTO LAICA was born in response to the emptiness of academic, governmental and private structures that should support art research in a consistent basis. Also, as a reaction to the urgent need for specialized texts, bibliography and innovative strategies to disseminate new perspectives on Guatemalan art.
LAICA insists on the value of writing, and in some cases of rewriting, the history of the most recent art, in order to think and speak for ourselves, “from here.”
At LAICA we believe it is necessary to shed light on the art that adresses relevant issues. Racism, politics, the body as a field of subjectivities, the decolonization of thought, feminisms, the consequences of neoliberal ideologies on the environment and migration, are just a few. We believe in questioning perceptions and conventions that have dominated the way art history, taste, distribution of knowledge, traditional exhibition spaces has been written, as well as practices such as art criticism and experiences in the field od education.
At LAICA we do not promote research as a conventional academic exercise, but as a dynamic practice that stimulates debate and an innovative link between knowledge, history and discourse. LAICA seeks to establish itself as a sounding board to talk about the complexity of the art of the present and foster critical thinking. We recognize the ideas and dissenting positions that arise from culture and art in Guatemala. LAICA is laicism.
OUR WORKING PLATFORMS AND METHODOLOGIES
LAICA developes projects and defines research contents with the support of its Advisory Board. It seeks the necessary funding to ensure its production. Selects and invites researchers from Guatemala and other countries to collaborate, according to their expertise, to write essays, interviews and other formats. It also establishes alliances with other research programs and initiatives.
Books. Books. Books?
Yes. At LAICA we still believe in the empathy and the power of the printed book as an indisputable mediator between people and the current map of images and ideas of art. For now, LAICA’s bibliographic production is limited to editions of 200 or 500 copies, low cost and sophisticated designs. Once ran out, the texts will be publicly released through PDF editions, e-books and other digital distribution formats.
Video Spots. Podcasts. Networks.
LAICA takes advantage of digital technologies and communication networks to stimulate the debate of contemporary art and build a community where diverse opinions count.
Anabella Acevedo was Executive Director of the contemporary art space Ciudad de la Imaginación, in the City of Quetzaltenango. In 2001 she received a research grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Rosina Cazali was Director of the Cultural Center of Spain in Guatemala from 2003 to 2007. In 2010 she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim scholarship for research, and the Prince Claus Award (Netherlands, 2014).
Both are independent curators and researchers based in Guatemala. They are moved by labor complicity and the hope for a society that recognizes the value of art and culture. In 2017, they were awarded a Jumex Foundation research grant (Mexico) for the research of the history of performance in Guatemala. This was the seed to form LAICA. In 2019 they launched and coordinated Pasos a desnivel (Overpasses), the First Contemporary Art Symposium in Guatemala.
Trudy Mercadal. Guatemalan. Holds a Bachelors degree in Arts in International Studies from the University of Barry; an MA in Liberal Arts with a major in Letters and Philosophy from the University of Barry (Miami), and an MA in Communications with a specialization in Cultural Studies from Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton). She has a PhD in Comparative Sciences from Florida Atlantic University, with a specialization in Sociology and Economics, which led her to work on community organization projects through cultural management in the United States and Guatemala, including the Neighborhood Cultural Management program of the Cultural Center of Spain in Guatemala. Currently, she writes for various alternative and editorial media, works in the field of intercultural advice on human rights, and in personal experimental and multimedia engraving projects.
Misha Orlandini. Guatemalan. With studies in contemporary art at the Municipal School of Visual Arts, in Guatemala, and an MA degree in Digital Manufacturing and Innovation with a specialization in Textiles, by Fabricademy – Fab Foundation – MIT. She is finishing an MA in Heritage Management with an emphasis on Museums, by the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. She has moved from the edition and manufacture of books to artistic research. She is currently working in the design and direction of educational programs in the Latin American Group of Advisors for Education (GLAE) and coordinates the PACA: Accompaniment Program for Artistic Creation in the CAP Pedagogical Artistic Creative space. She has participated in exhibitions at the Museo de la Imprenta Sánchez and de Gize, Municipal School of Visual Arts, Poporopo Gallery, Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen Cultural Center, the National Library in Guatemala; and in Tinkerers Fab Lab and Casal De Joves Artistes in Barcelona.
Pablo José Ramírez. Guatemalan. Curator and cultural theorist. Fellow of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Foundation and the Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development. Founder and Director of the ABSURDO Contemporary Art and Political Thought Symposium. He was the Executive Director and Curator for the contemporary art space Ciudad de la Imamaginación. He holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. He has presented conferences and developed projects for institutions such as CCA (Glasgow), Parsons / The New School (NY), Display (Prague), ParaSite (Hong Kong), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Gasworks (London) among others. He was the recipient of the 2019 Independent Curators International / CPPC award for Central America and the Caribbean. He currently resides in London.
FRIENDS OF LAICA
María Guadalupe Álvarez/ Full time profesor. Inveterate critic and eventual curator. Aspiring gardener
Carmen Lucía Alvarado Benítez/ Writer, thinker, editor
Santiago Bastos/ Social Researcher
José Luis Blondet/ Curator
Claire Breukel/ Curator at Y.ES
Claude Bussac/ Art and festival director at La Fábrica
José Cal/ Historian/ writer, traveler
Juan Manuel Calderón/ Filmmaker
Luis Camnitzer/ Artist
Manuela Camus/ Social Researcher
Karen Cordero Reiman/ Historiadora del arte, curadora, escritora
Aura Cumes/ Pensadora/ researcher, activist
Cecilia Delgado Masse/ Curator, cultural manager
Tamara Díaz Bringas/ Curator
Regina José Galindo/ Artist
Andrea Giunta/ Curator, writer and researcher
Luisa González-Reiche/ Philosophy and Art Theory tacher, educator
Sol Henaro/ Curator
Sara Hermann/ Curator and Art historian
Maya Juracán/ Curator
Pablo León de la Barra/ Curator and independent dependent
Miguel López / Chief Curator and Co director at Teorética
Carlota Mcallister/ Anthropologist and observer of artistic processes
Luis Méndez Salinas/ Writer, thinker, editor
Sofía Olascoaga/ Artist, curator, researcher
Alexandra Ortiz Wallner/ Critic and specialist in literary and cultural studies in Central America
Renato Osoy/ Curator, artist
Josseline Pinto/ Curator, poet
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro/ Curator
Fiorella Resentera/ Museologist and designer
María Rondea/ Architect founder of Concepcion 41
Gabriel Rodríguez/ Artist, curator
María Inés Rodríguez/ Independent curator, writer and researcher
Arturo Taracena Arriola/ Historian
Luis Pedro Taracena Arriola/ Historian
Marivi Véliz/ Independent researcher, writer and curator
Vania Vargas/ Poet
Carol Zardetto / Writer