PRINT April 2015


art in Costa Rica

Mimian Hsu, Retrato familiar en Helvética (Family Portrait in Helvetica), 2014, adhesive vinyl. Installation view, TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica. Photo: Daniela Morales Lisac.

DESPITE THE EVER-EXPANDING BORDERS of the art world, Central America rarely features on the itineraries of its jet-setters. Its seven countries have long been dismissed through the clichés of the banana republic, plagued by civil war, violent crime, and drug trafficking. Yet similar problems afflicting nearby Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia have not prevented major institutional funding for contemporary art there. The difference—somewhat ironically for an isthmus linking two continents—seems to be one of connectivity. The historical lack of a proper network in Central America for curators and artists resulted in invisibility—not simply internationally but also much closer to home. Throughout the twentieth century, regional countries were so isolated that information about a local exhibition would often only reach a neighboring country via news stories from Europe or

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