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
Anna Hugo is a New York based curator, German-Colombian and born in Vienna. She currently collaborates on various projects with Random Institute.

Words Ending on Tape

ArchivedHappened in October 2016
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San José

Despacio collaborates with Printed Matter, Inc. (New York) to revive an almost lost medium. A few decades ago the cassette tape was the most convenient way to record sound material, yet with the fast advancing digital world it is at the verge of being completely forgotten. Nevertheless, artists have continuously used this format to further expand their forms of expression. Listen to the sound of a diary, bodies, an unstable table, singing sand, and of a disassembled cassette in our newest Library in Residence.


Printed Matter, Inc (New York) presents a selection of artists' audio on tape.

The projects include conceptual performance works for voice, improvised 'talk pieces', artists working in the sound/song medium, and sound projects that derive from work on paper, or that are conceived in connection with a companion artists' book. Several works of experimental audio reflect on the physical medium of the cassette itself, building on found sound or field recordings from the natural world that have been auto-tuned, tweaked and layered to create new meaning.

Thoughts by Keith Gray

The library will be on display from October 20, 2016 on. Following eleven audiotapes were chosen for the Library in Residence:

Birds, Whales and Singing Sand
Aaron McLaughlin
One Mile High, 2012

The Archaeology of Home & Lemons
David Antin

Unstable Table
Nonhorse (G. Lucas Crane)
High Performance Audio

Friedrichstraße 4, buzz "Shin" at door
Kayla Guthrie
Published by 100%

Dan Graham
Dan Graham & The Static at Riverside Studios London
Published by Primary Information

Endless Audio
Jonas Bers, Spreaders, Matt Luczak, Anima Projection
Published by Endless Audio

The Sound of a Cassette Disassembled
Justin Meyers
Published by Tone Filth

Aki Onda
Published by Gil Arno/Unframed

Denise de la Cerda and Alan Sondheim
Damaged Life

Babbally: The Destruction of Mindfuck Diplomacy
Cleveland: Burning Press, 1990

Bodywork No. 1
By Cat Lauigan, Matt Brownell
Brooklyn, 2014

Printed Matter, Inc

Printed Matter is a world’s leading art bookstore dedicated to the dissemination, understanding and appreciation of artists’ books and has become an important voice in the art world. The nonprofit art bookstore was started by Sol LeWitt and the art critic Lucy R. Lippard.

Private Matter

ArchivedHappened in July 2016

Loose pages, fragile, incomplete and sometimes too personal, the artist Diego Fournier lends his sketchbooks to Despacio. By exploring the processes of the everyday, whether ravens eating worms at the plaza, the dancing legs of frogs or a boy experiencing the beach, each of these intertwined stories of personal encounters unfold to new destinations of imagination in a series of 20 handmade sketchbooks.


No. 1 and 8-19 of these unique sketchbooks are presented for the first time to the public. The books began with homework assignments and pencil sketches, yet quickly evolved towards a colorful imaginary place for dreamscape. Playful cartoons, minimal notes and vibrant patterns of stories and shapes that lead to the next idea are revealed by the marks of a felt tip pen.

In combining a freedom of spontaneity and conforming to rules, Fournier created a fascinating personal dialogue with his everyday. This dialogue, documented and transformed in his illustrations of encounters, allows for an engagement with narratives that maintain their own time and rhythm while being influenced by the ongoing interweaving of realities and fantasies. The deep transformative nature of this private matter allows the artist to visualize what is really on his mind.

Thoughts by Anna Hugo

The books will be on display from July 28, 2016 on.

Diego Fournier is a Costa Rican artist living and working in San José.

Absence of Logic

ArchivedHappened in March 2016

In 2016, Despacio’s program and Central Archive, located alongside the exhibition space, will plunge with relish into an ocean of paradox and possibilities, freed from the necessity of making sense. Newly comprised of artworks, correspondence and traces of happenings and actions, it will stand as a testament to an extraordinary freedom from convention.

Critical voices of reason will be deconstructed in pursuit of free thinking.


While most archives are banished to remote corners of their institutions, Despacio’s archive shares center stage within the exhibition space.

Despacio will realize its artistic and intellectual pursuit of absence in three acts that will unfold over three years:

  1. Absence of Logic starting March 2016
  2. Absence of Divisions starting March 2017
  3. Absence of Art starting March 2018

Each act brings together exhibitions, happenings, and Libraries in Residence around the theme, as well as a Central Archive, which is a collection of works that are carefully compiled and include physical art objects, correspondence, and traces of happenings and actions. At various times over the year, a selection of these works will be activated in the exhibition space alongside the archive itself.

Life Is Elsewhere

ArchivedHappened in March 2016
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San José

Diana Abi Khalil writes and draws and in her little notebooks about traveling to space, heartache, questioning moments of doubts. Most of the artist’s notebooks are unfinished or forgotten; others have been smudged by rain or tears, and yet others were lost or gifted to friends or lovers. Playful yet honest, these notebooks each take on lives of their own and are for the first time ever united and on view at Despacio.


The works are an insight into the privacy of someone you will never forget. The Lebanese artist and storyteller plays with quotes, fonts and colorful imagery to express and document her inevitable emotions, “people don’t understand how much they express”. The pages she considers “ugly” are often covered in black paint. In providing her with a healing process to her own ideas and thoughts, the books have become essential to her everyday. There is no escape from the emotional rollercoaster Diana needs to express, “have a safe trip”.

Thoughts by Anna Hugo

The books will be on display from March 3, 2016 on.

Diana Abi Khalil is a Lebanese artist who was born and raised in Paris. She may be considered a runaway girl lost in big cities. She came to New York in 2010 to be by herself.

No One Belongs Here More Than You

ArchivedHappened in March 2016

It’s no secret that some moments slip away into the mental archive forever, while others vanish before we fully sense them. Despacio presents conceptual works spanning the past 40 years by artists who understand how to capture and create ingenious moments that inform our memories and provoke our deepest ruminations.

Sometimes it’s the small, silent moments that tell the story.


Our most fulfilling experiences connect us with what we are really searching for. They lead us to ask, what are we seeking when visiting an exhibition?

This question has generated many answers over time and remains significant today in an ever-changing world of influences and expectations. It is also all the more relevant to Central America, a region with limited outlets for exploring art beyond national museums.

It is the visitor’s responsibility to manage his or her expectations. Interpreting art requires time for personal contemplation. Conceptual artists inspire us to pay attention to fleeting moments, and we at Despacio feel those fleeting moments may give birth to stories, myths, and in some cases even new realities.

All of the works on display in No One Belongs Here More Than You playfully interpret moments in time. Sometimes they focus on the absence of something during a significant moment, and other times they suggest that the moment is indicative of something greater. Regardless of their differences, each artist activates the viewer’s imagination through his or her work by breathing new life into a handful of moments that will continue to inform what happens next.

Ultimately, we interpret and revisit artworks in the context of time, reminding us that great works of art are living things and exceptionally timeless.

The exhibition runs from March 3rd until April 24th 2016 at Despacio in San José, Costa Rica. (FB Event)

Alfredo CeibalSandino ScheideggerStefan BenchoamStudio VisitY.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 ArtArtist Run SpaceCristina RamirezStephanie ChavesPaz MongeReviewMaripaz HowellRevista RaraPress
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