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Clara de Tezanos (Guatemala, 1986)

Represented by La Galería Rebelde

Member of Como ser fotógrafa,  FotoFéminas and The Journal Collective

Guatemalan artist who studied photography in Paris in 2005. In 2009, she co-founded the Center for Contemporary Photography, La Fototeca and the International Photography Festival GuatePhoto. As Director of La Fototeca, she curated various exhibitions, directed editorial projects and taught for more than 10 years. She worked as chief curator for all the editions of the GuatePhoto Festival, Fototropía Gallery and Espacio Satélite. Her work has been exhibited in collective and individual exhibitions both locally and internationally. In 2018, De Tezanos self-published “Piedra-Padre, Universo” and “Por Maniobras de un Terceto”, both edited by Alejandro Cartagena, both shortlisted in renowned international open calls like the Aperture & Paris Photo First Book Award 18, PHotoESPAÑA 2020 Best Photography Book of the Year 2020 and Rencontres d’Arles 2020 Book Awards. She presented both books with solo exhibitions at La Erre in Guatemala City and at La Nueva Fábrica in Antigua Guatemala. Recently, represented by La Galería Rebelde, she has participated in various Art Fairs like Zona Maco 2020 in Mexico City, Art lima 2020 in Perú, Art Paris 2021-22-23 in Paris, Together Arts 2021 in Miami, and in Mexico Salón ACME 2023. Her last solo show was “La Fuente es el So” at La Galería Rebelde in Guatemala City.

Today, Clara continues creating images in photography but is now interested in constructing larger projects that include video, sculpture and performance. Her recent work has shifted to the construction of objects and sensorial sculptures that capture light, color and sound to convert spaces into holy experiences. Her last solo exhibition at La Galería Rebelde in 2022, was a synthesis of a decade of her research, practical work and experimentation with video, sculpture and performance.

Artist Statement

Clara reflects on her work a personal connection with time. A way to solve questions and curiosities about her past and to create possible fictions and imaginaries about her present as a personal shelter. Her artistic work began with the photographic medium, using the camera and the manipulation of light as a channel to reveal mysteries of her ancestors, the transgenerational, what she inherited in her psyche, the archive, her childhood. As a photographer, flashes of light and the handling of it were always recognized elements in her intimate images. This language of light is continued in a new facet as a visual artist dedicated to objects, sculpture, collective performance, video art and the installation of diaphanous pieces that, through light, lead the viewer to wonder about the present. For de Tezanos, time is the great mystery of the world. A time that is heard as it passes, a time that stops, that happens from the past to the future. That mystery has been the center of her work, also nourished by the investigation of other branches of thought such as physics, astronomy and more esoteric pseudosciences. Her sculptures are also influenced by the iconography of religious traditions in Guatemala in its form and woodwork techniques, thinking of light as an element that for centuries has been associated with divinity. This influence allows her to think about the search for science, faith, metaphysics, myth and the magic of transforming ideas. Thus, her work starts from an oneiric intuition of perception and moves to a scientific research on the passage of time and the movement of the cosmos. Her work departs from the archive, accumulating images, materials and objects that later come to life in spatial compositions, as memory sets, as a daydream towards self-discovery, as a great philosophical mystery. For the artist, the light experience is a way of revealing or dazzling certainties, a mechanism to reverse our gaze towards our ancestors, question the paradoxes of our realities and provoke the contemplation of a natural phenomenon that behaves in infinite ways such as light. The translation of meanings to materials is also important in her practice, which is why she attributes personal knowledge to wood and diaphanous materials that produce in the objects the condition of reflection and refraction of light at the same time. Finally, her work speaks of the experience of light as the closest thing to the sacred, a time-space to be in communion with “the everything”, a way of creating more fables than theories about the universe.