Clara Zarza

Clara Zarza is an art historian and curator specialized in Contemporary Installation Art, Visual Theory and Material Culture. Her interdisciplinary research has also relied on literary, anthropological and philosophical studies on identity, experience, intimacy and the autobiographical subject, as well as the history of design and material culture.

PhD in Art History from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and JAEPre predoctoral fellow (2009 – 2013) of the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology at the Center for Human and Social Sciences (CCHS – CSIC, Madrid). Her thesis ‘Intimate Spaces. Autobiographical Modes and Materials present in the 1990s Euro-American Art Practices’ was awarded European Doctor Mention and Outstanding PhD Award in Art History for best thesis of the year 2013 – 2014 (UCM).

She currently holds a tenure track position at IE University School of Architecture and Design. In addition to her research and teaching activity at IE University, she has taught courses, workshops, and seminars on contemporary art and material culture at various institutions such as the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo or La Casa Encendida, creating educational experiences with an emphasis on audience engagement and participation.

In recent years she has curated and coordinated the exhibition and performance show ‘Bobby Baker: Jars of Chutney’ (22 February – 21 April 2019, La Casa Encendida, Madrid) along with the documentary piece that accompanied the show. She continues to collaborate with Bobby Baker and her team as a member of Daily Life Ltd.’s Curatorial Advisory Group.

She is currently working on a book project on Installation Art entitled Intimate and Spectacular Spaces.


• Assistant Professor at IE University, Madrid, 2018 – Present

• Curator of the exhibition Bobby Baker Tarros de chutney / Bobby Baker: Jars of Chutney, La Casa Encendida, Madrid February 22 – April 21, 2019

• Adjunct Professor IE University, Madrid, 2014 – 2018

• Member of the Editorial Team Efímera Revista. Biannual research journal on art and performance (ISSN: 2172-5934), 2019 – 2013

• Member of the Editorial Team Brumaria. Artistic, Aesthetic and Political Practice, an artists project devoted to the construction of a space for research and reflection on artistic, social, and political practices, with the aim of translating, organising, editing, and circulating theoretical-practical materials for conceiving contemporary experimentation, 2009 – 2008

• Co-curator of the exhibition Fotogramas de Posguerra, Cineteca de Matadero, Madrid. Funded by the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, 1 – 31 June 2012

• PhD Visiting Scholar Research Fellow at the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Montreal, March – May 2012

• PhD Visiting Scholar Research Fellow at the School of Arts and Humanities, King’s College, London, Abril – July 2011

• PhD Visiting Scholar Research Fellow at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Amsterdam, September – December 2010

• Predoctoral Fellow JAEPredoc at the Spanish National Research Council (CCHS-CSIC, Madrid). Research Group on Culture, Publishing and Hispanic Literature (XIX – XXI Centuries) GICELAH, under the direction of Dr. Pura Fernandez. Institute of Language Literature and Anthropology (CCHS – CSIC)

• Participation in international projects established by institutional agreement: Conocer, conmover. Las emociones de la cultura y la cultura de las emociones: el orden de la sensibilidad moderna Institutions involved: CCHS-CSIC, New York University (NYU), The King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University (NYC), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2011 – 2009

• Participation in Research Projects funded by the National Plan I+D+i : La Re(d)pública de las Letras: Redes de sociabilidad y asociacionismo femenino en el campo cultural contemporáneo (1834-1931) ((FFI2010-17373) (January 2011 – December 2013) and La República Literaria Latina, la Unión Iberoamericana y los discursos del capitalismo financiero. Estrategias editoriales y federaciones profesionales en el campo cultural heterodoxo del siglo XIX (HUM2007-63608/FILO) (January 2008 – December 2010)

• Curatorial Internship at Talbot Rice Gallery of Edinburgh, 2008


• PhD in Art History (mention: ‘Cum laude’ and ‘International PhD’). PhD Thesis Intimate Spaces. Autobiographical Modes and Materials in the Euroamerican Art Practices Visible in the 1990s. Advisors: Estrella de Diego Otero (III Art Department, Faculty of Geography and History, UCM) and Pura Fernández (Institute of Language Literature and Anthropology, CCHS-CSIC). Defense: April 29, 2014

• Msc History, Theory and Display, School of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Title validated for the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in the Complutense University of Madrid, 2007 – 2008

• BA in Art History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Faculty of Geography and History, 2002 – 2007


Zarza, C. (2019). “Bobby Baker: La Normalización y el Espacio Público”. In Cornago, O., Rodríguez Prieto, Z. (Eds.). Tiempos de Habitar. Prácticas Artísticas y Mundos Posibles. Genueve Ediciones

Zarza, C. (2016). “There is no Place Like Home. Explorations of a dislocated self and its home in Emily Jacir’s piece Where We Come From / (Im)mobility”. In Arnold, M.,Meskimmon, M. (Eds.) Liverpool University Press

Zarza, C. (2011) “Imaginarse: Maruja Mallo y la configuración de una identidad artística”. Efímera Revista, Vol. 2 (2): pp. 6 – 13 ISSN: 2172 – 5934

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