Video Art Manual, 2015
Installation View: Keren Cytter

In "Video Art Manual" Keren Cytter undermines the relationship between actors, setting and camera as typical for her handling of the medium film. Thematically the approximately 15 minutes feature is about the history of video art. Instead of offering a historical analysis of the medium and its development in the last forty years Cytter focuses on the conditions of how contemporary video art will be produced, installed and consumed. By doing this her video work can literally be seen as a manual to her own work.
Dino Real
Caleidoexótica for Traffic Magazine, 2015
Photo: Juan Caliva
Naufus Ramirez Figueroa
Piña Matriz, 2014
Installation View: Carlos Fernandez

Proyecto basado en dos sistemas distintos para el cultivo de la piña, producto estrella de exportación en Costa Rica y a la vez un ícono de la vida en el trópico.
First Day of Good Weather
The group show took place at Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
Naufus Ramirez Figueroa
El hábito de estrofas, 2011
Installation View: Fabiola Carranza
Carranza hand painted nineteen signs for ambulatory and home-operated businesses in his ancestral hometown Atenas, Costa Rica. Each sign was made in accordance to the demands of its owner. She exchanged the signs she crafted for the originals and exhibited at Despacio. She also invited local vendor, Idalia Martinez, for whom she had made a sign to sell food at the opening reception.

Photo: Ronald Reyes
No One Belongs Here More Than You, 2016
In the background: The Totality of True Propositions (Before) by Julien Prévieux
Aníbal López
Central American Biennial, 2016 at Despacio
Julian Charrière
Siempre cuenta cuántos cuentos cuentas, 2016 at Despacio
No One Belongs Here More Than You, 2016
No One Belongs Here More Than You, 2016
Avenida Central, San José
Entrance for Despacio
Dino Real
Red Leopard Duke, 2014
Photo: Julian Garita / Natalia Jimenez
Aníbal López
Central American Biennial, 2016 at Despacio
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Despacio’s mission is to keep doing what it has been doing for the past decade: consistently exploring new models of artistic and curatorial practice while remaining a driving force in the continued development of Central America’s artistic voice.
Untold Stories

Performance Series

Upcoming: Starts Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 7 pm

Despacio starts the year with a performance festival set to explore the limits of new exhibition formats and underground cultures. Invited curator Alejandro Ramirez Salas is conceiving the ongoing program, which begins with the festival and continues with eclectic performance nights held every six weeks.



February 4, 2017
Performance Festival (Facebook Event)
Participating artists: Yamil de la Paz García, Johan Phillips, Erina Libertad, Mimian Hsu, and Sergio Rojas Chaves

March 16, 2017
Performance Night (Facebook Event)
Artist: Andres Gudiño

April 26, 2017
Naked Fish Festival (Website / Facebook Event)
Fish Market and Performances
Participating artists: Charly Le Poissonnier, Dino Real, Elyla Sinvergüenza, Javier Calvo, Monsieur Bien, Oscar Ruiz-Schmidt, Señorita Abril and Robertito
Directed by Sandino Scheidegger

May 25, 2017
Performance Night "La patria su peso" and Chicha Bar
Artist: Stephanie Williams

June 29, 2017
Performance Night
Artist: tba

Subsequent performance night dates and details to be announced.

Performance nights take place at Despacio every six weeks. This new program, if not otherwise noted, is curated by our guest curator Alejandro Ramirez Salas.


Ongoing: Started on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 7 pm

As if it were an appendix of the mothership, Carlos Fernández docks at Despacio a habitat that encapsulates not only his work, but also himself and even a patch of life where each one of us might find ourselves.


Upcoming workshops:
May 27th: Plants Workshop Carlos Fernández & Sergio Rojas Chaves
June 10th: La Mala Mano Farming Workshop with Carlos Fernández

COORDINATES:   9°56′00″N 84°05′00″
OTHER MARKERS:   Avenida Central, Calle 11, San José, Costa Rica
RESOURCES:   canvas, plants, seeds (I), Carlos’s hat (II), soil and chicha (III)
ACTIVATIONS:   pedagogical workshops (IV), funky bar (V), seed exchange (VI), and others, still unknown.

  1. a variety of organic, local seeds for corn, beans, pumpkins, green vegetables, forests, and also many staked plants
  2. hat from the indigenous ngäbe community, with stains from a gallon of paint that fell on it accidentally during one of its many journeys between stations
  3. alcoholic beverage obtained through a process of non-distilled corn fermentation that originated in Central and South America in pre-Columbian times
  4. drawing, botany, and urban crop–design workshops
  5. ludic moments by the heat of chicha, with good friends and music
  6. the seeds come from Carlos’s personal plot, from neighbors’ farms, from urban-agriculture projects in San José, and even from abroad, brought as gifts. The plan is to create a “seed center,” a place where they can be exchanged or given to others to plant, so that their harvests yield seeds that keep nourishing the center, thus paving the way for constant renewal.

This is a real person’s temporary and imaginary work camp. At this station, a series of live elements coexist; they are not the final products but parts of a simmering process. It is also an installation that sustains itself through collective participation and collaboration.

While participating in this experience, the concept of excess provides clues and serves as a common thread: in abundance lies beauty. The plants’ greenness blends with its smells and paintings function as registers of past lessons and future explanations. It is imperative to allow oneself to be enchanted by the layers that coat and recoat every corner—superimposed, hidden information, and the possibility of germination in every square centimeter of the space.

We discover that we can access a fragment of a practice that has long represented not the intermingling of one or two disciplines but rather Carlos’s life itself: his everyday to-and-fro and his passion for agriculture, art, botany, and education. The production of this work represents the search to redefine these practices as well as an act of appropriation.

This station, set at the center of San José, will offer moments for learning, contemplation, and dance. Always in the spirit of exchange—of knowledge and experiences, of seeds and the multiple possibilities between practices that will here appear to overflow and interconnect. There is a subtle but continuous invitation of integration; we are invited to engage in the (self)care inherent to the relationship that we can create with the soil and harvest.

Suddenly, art is life understood through the idea of purpose: of working the soil as if it were a canvas; of generating spaces to share or exhibit beyond the traditional ones. Even of needing to collect and exchange seeds as a reflex of turning the gaze toward the beginning, a gesture that seeks to perpetuate life.

Thoughts by Paula Piedra. Translated by Paula Kupfer.

Carlos Fernández's solo show at Despacio in San José, Costa Rica opens March 23th and runs through April 23th, 2017. (Facebook Event)

The indoor garden that is part of the exhibition will remain throughout 2017 and serve as Despacio’s new central archive.

Zines Library

Ongoing: Started on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 4 pm
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San José

Despacio’s newest Library in Residence brings to life the ephemeral being of fanzines. Once printed and distributed they often disappear in personal collections or vanish quickly from sight. So are the fanzines of Cornucopia Zine, which will be accessible once again and present the visual dialogues with numerous artists in form of monographic fanzines.


Some say it started with trashy science fiction novels, some say hand-written Xeroxed pages by punks, some say the comic nerds were first to invent the fanzines.

Despite the disputed origins and the digital revolution, the production of self-made magazines never ceased. Written and edited by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon and distributed amongst likeminded, they are only hard to find – even more so in Costa Rica.

For one month, Despacio presents a collection of artist-made fanzines from the self-publishing studio Cornucopia Zine based in Costa Rica and founded by Oscar Ruiz Schmidt. The fanzines are all co-signed as monographs by a guest-artist and the editor.

On the opening day Cornucopia Zine will produce a new zine on-site and in collaboration with the copy shop on the ground floor of Despacio.

The Zines Library will launch on April 29th at Despacio in parallel with the Naked Fish Festival taking place on the same day.

Following zines produced by Cornucopia and guest artists will be accessible:

STBY 1 / Olman Torres
60 b/w, 4 color, Preview

Hombre y Bestia / Ronald Reyes
48 pages, 45 b/w, 3 color, Preview

Binnenstich / Oscar Ruiz Schmidt
56 pages, 52 b/w, 4 color, multiple fold-outs, Preview

Küsse to everybody / Sonsoles Lozano
72 pages, black and white on cream colored paper, Preview

llustraciones / Osvaldo Baldi
34 pages, black and white on yellow paper, Preview

Devota / Felipe Huertas Oviedo
32 black and white pages, 2 color, Preview

Acromatopsia / Juan de la Cruz Calivá
66 pages, black and white, Preview

STNBY 2 / Olman Torres
26 pages, black and white, Preview

Retratos / Natalea Soto
40 pages, black and white on cream and orange paper, Preview

Como el agua forma la tierra / Obra Gris
48 pages, black and white, Preview

Dosis / Rebeca Arias
22 pages, color, Preview

Caribe Fantasma / Lores de Sousa
28 pages, 8 color, 20 b/w, Preview

Unísono / Carlos Hurtado
Two zines in one, a) 18 pages, 16 b/w, 2 color b) 12 pages, b/w, Preview

Vernacular / Danilo Reuben
46 pages, b/w, Preview

No secrets between us / Fabrizio Arrieta
52 pages, 44 b/w, 8 color, Preview

Labios / Pablo Cambronero
40 pages, 24 color, 16 b/w, Preview

The Simulacrum is the Present Reality / Carla Saborío
36 pages, 26 b/w, 10 color, Preview

Cerrado por reformas / Olman Torres
72 pages, 66 b/w, 6 color, Preview

Frau Lamb / Juan de la Cruz Calivá
32 pages, b/w, Preview

Siesta Infinita / Seniorita Polyester
28 pages, b/w on red, blue and white paper, Preview

África / Jose Díaz
34 pages, color, multiple foldouts, Preview

Glitch / Elisa Bergel Melo
20 pages, color, Preview

Ciudad Mínima / Leo Ureña
36 pages, 30 b/w, 6 color, plus fold-out color cover, Preview

25 under 25 / Nueva Fotografía
54 pages, 44 b/w, 10 color, Preview

Una selección de fanzines estará para la venta. La imagen principal usada para comunicación del evento es de Olman Torres.

Naked Fish Festival

ArchivedHappened in April 2017

If Paris were an aquarium, Charly would be its tropical fish, jumping out of the water each night with no one watching. The award-winning fishmonger peddles fish during the day and tours as a drag queen through the French capital’s underground scene at night. Now, for the first time, Charly is crossing the Atlantic to take part in the Despacio performance festival, uniting his many worlds: fresh fish, art performances and queer appearances.


Upon entering Charly’s fish market, situated on a busy Paris street, one quickly observes a universe of dreams and desire: glassy eyes of dead fish stare at you; posters for drag shows paper the walls; a handwritten thank you note from the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, perches alongside his Michelin medal. It’s more than a fish market, it’s a hodgepodge of the various stories life can offer when one's passion is given free reign. It’s a stage, where fish are the props and the clients become the public.

When day turns to night, our fisherman lets his diva emerge, darting like a tropical fish through the underground rivers of Paris. In placing Charly's fish-market at center stage of the festival, Despacio celebrates the grandeur of a man's dreams, desires and duality – each one a stand-in for our own.

On April 29th several international and local artists will turn his shop into an unending stream of performance and fantasy.

From drag shows, musical contributions, theatrical interventions, to long-durational art performances – all will question the roles we tend to play in life, as well as those we tend to ignore. To transgress the rules of society and fashion is to give rise to an inner creativity and break with conformity.

Visitors will bear witness to a real fish-market, one where they can buy fresh fish and see them prepared into meals on-site. For French speakers, there will be plenty of opportunity for conversations with the enigmatic fishmonger. For the non-French speakers, body language will suffice. In Charly's grotto, it's anything goes.

The fish market and performance festival takes place on April 29th 2017 at Despacio. (Facebook Event)

Participating artists: Charly Le Poissonnier, Dino Real, Elyla Sinvergüenza, Javier Calvo, Monsieur Bien, Oscar Ruiz-Schmidt, Señorita Abril, Robertito and more.

Directed by Sandino Scheidegger (Random Institute)

This marks the second edition of the festival. It was originally conceived by Sandino Scheidegger for Random Institute and staged in 2014 in Zurich. Credits for drag film: Performer: Elyla Sinverguenza, Camera, Directing and Editing: Guillermo Sáenz, Costume and Styling: Marcus Carmon, Production: Nicholas Blevis & David Torres, Music: Arca - Anoche. Credits for film about Charly in Paris: Camera: Fabian Niklaus, Animation: Raphael Etter, Concept: Leila Hincelin and Sandino Scheidegger. Credits for film about Charly in Costa Rica: Ernesto Varga. Credits for photos of the festival: Juliette Chrétien and Erno Hilarion.

An Island of Two

ArchivedHappened in March 2017

Twins Jörg and Rolf Fischer are deeply bound to one another by their fate: they were both born deaf and, due to severe diabetes, gradually lost their sight during the course of their lives. Photographer Marlena Waldthausen moved in with Jörg and Rolf to capture one of the most remarkable relationships ever recorded, forged by their love and care for one another, everyday in every way.


Born deaf and now blind, 49-year-old twins Jörg and Rolf Fischer are totally reliant on one another for companionship and communication. They share everything, including a bond that transcends everyday brotherly love.

The brothers experience life very differently from the way most of us do, and that is what makes their relationship so unique. As it is understandably difficult for them to communicate with the outside world, they support each other in their daily lives through their own language and humour.

Jörg is now completely blind. Rolf, who is still partially sighted, tries to support his brother as best as he can. He guides Jörg, even though he does not see the way properly himself. If there is written information, he reads it to Rolf in spite of the great effort.

Photographer Marlena Waldthausen lived with Jörg and Rolf at their care facility and in their parents home for more than 7 months, documenting their bond with her camera and doing her best to learn their language.

This solo exhibition opens on March 23th and runs through April 22nd, 2017 at Despacio (Facebook Event).

Marlena Waldthausen was born close to Stuttgart in southern Germany in 1987 and is currently based in Amsterdam. She spent several years in Latin America living in many different cities, including Buenos Aires and Mexico City. From 2008 to 2012, she studied Regional Studies of Latin America at Cologne University before becoming a student of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover.

Outside of her assignments, Waldthausen works mostly on long term personal projects in film and photography. She won the 2016 VGH Award, is one of five winners of the 2016 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Award, and was nominated for the 2016 Freelens Award and the 2015 Balkan Photo Award.

Alfredo CeibalSandino ScheideggerStefan BenchoamY.ES ContemporaryLucas ArevaloAbigail ReyesSimón VegaMauricio EsquivelFire TheoryCrack RodriguezErnesto BautistaMauricio KabistanMelissa GuevaraJavier Ramirez NadieDiego FournierMaria José GuevaraAnna HugoBarbara HoffmannZilla LeuteneggerDavid ShrigleyRonan & Erwan BouroullecBeni BischhofThomas RuffMaya HoffmannBen VautierKarl PawekAndreas ZüstMara ZüstPeter WeberSimon LamunièreBernhard LuginbühlSwiss FocusMario SantizoGabriel RodriguezRonald MoránExhibitionUrs SteinerPro HelvetiaEmbajada de SuizaSwen RenaultCentral ArchiveLuca MüllerAdrian MelisSigurdur GudmundssonBethan HuwsHans EijkelboomJulian CharrièreJürgen KrauseJens RischThomas MoorJavier CalvoAnonymous ArtistJay ChungBen LongCamille LaurelliDiego Arias AscheteamFayçal BaghricheFlorence JungIván ArgoteJens SundheimMikko KuorinkiRonald ReyesSasha KurmazThomas GeigerYann VandermeKarin LehmannAnja MajerHabacuc Guillermo Vargas Roger MunozPaulette PenjeSebastien VerdonDavid HorvitzFabian BoschungNicolás RobbioNina Beier & Marie LundBenvenuto ChavajayMarton RobinsonCarey YoungAbsence of LogicAbsenceJulien PrévieuxInstituto Tecnológico de Costa RicaUniversidad de Costa RicaJorge de LeónAbsence of Divisionsto be announcedAdriana ArroyoErno HilarionLuis ChavesScreeningDonna ConlonJonathan HarkerFischli & WeissKeren CytterAlejandro Bonilla RojasJulian GalleseAlejandro RamírezCarlos FernándezLucía MadrizMarton RobinsonEva & Franco MattesFabiola CarranzaSophie BarbaschDiana Abi KhalilAlberto Rodríguez CollíaResidencyAlberto FontFabian NiklausÁlvaro Marenco MarrocchiRosemary MedinaErnesto Jara VargasAyami AwazuharaMatthias DolderAníbal LópezYaxs FoundationTamara DíazCentral American BiennialAna Lucrecia MuñozAníbal CatalánAudrey HoubenDiego GiannettoniErica Muralles HazbunJason MenaJorge LinaresKevin BaltazarMario Alberto López CruzNuria GüellSergio RojasProyecto 44Hugo QuintoJennifer PaizNora PérezPaulina ZamoraPablo XonáCarolina ArroyoLeonel JuracánEsperanza de LéonLeo HoffmannC.R.A.C.artFrancis AlÿsDavid ClaerboutDouglas GordonGary HillPierre HuygheJoan JonasIsaac JulienWilliam KentridgePaul McCarthyPipilotti RistAnri SalaNew MuseumChus MartínezNicolas LeubaStéphanie SerraNicola TrezziSabrina Röthlisberger BelkacemWalterio IrahetaAdán VallecilloDaros LatinamericaLeonardo GonzálezKaron Sabrina CorralesMuseum of the Honduran ManMarcos AgudeloGladioska Garcia SolisJuanita BermudezAlejandro de la GuerraRaúl QuintanillaErnesto SalmerónFederico HerreroSimone HuserJosé Manuel CastrellonJohann WolfschoonAna Elena GaruzSchandra MadhaZoe Sans-Arcidet-LacourtPrinted MatterKeith GrayMax SchumannAaron McLaughlinDavid AntinG. Lucas CraneKayla GuthrieDan GrahamJonas BersSpreadersMatt LuczakAnima ProjectionJustin MeyersAki OndaDenise de la CerdaAlan SondheimMiekalCat LauiganMatt BrownellJulia MurilloAllora & CalzadillaAlejandro Almanza PeredaSol CaleroLuis CamnitzerAlfredo JaarRegina José GalindoTeresa MargollesRivane NeuenschwanderYoshua OkónLiliana PorterGabriel SierraNaufus Ramírez-FigueroaHanne LippardAna AlensoDeborah CastilloMichele Di MennaAude LevèreDafna MaimonEleanore PientaThe Pizza Suicide ClubTercerunquintoCorina HeinPaula PiedraMarlena WaldthausenPriscila GómezPhotographyErina LibertadAlejandro Ramirez SalasYamil de la Paz GarcíaJohan PhillipsPerformanceSergio Rojas ChavesMimian HsuAndres GudiñoDanceTheaterCharly Le PoissonnierDino RealElyla SinvergüenzaMonsieur BienOscar Ruiz SchmidtSeñorita AbrilRoberto ChavesStephanie WilliamsOlman TorresSonsoles LozanoOsvaldo BaldiFelipe Huertas OviedoJuan de la Cruz CaliváNatalea SotoObra GrisRebeca AriasLores de SousaCarlos HurtadoDanilo ReubenFabrizio ArrietaPablo CambroneroCarla SaboríoSeniorita PolyesterIngrid CorderoJose DíazElisa Bergel MeloLeo UreñaNueva FotografíaJuliette ChrétienPablo Marcus BienCamila Garon OrellanaPaula KupferOlivier AubertinAlexandra DelageGardenKarlo Andrei IbarraIgnasi AballíSite-Specific Art
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