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
Despacio’s Library in Residence is an ever-evolving selection of artworks, artist books, and unique handmade publications that together not only reimagine ingrained library systems but also examine literature’s role in contemporary art.

Zines Library

Upcoming: Starts 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.

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.

Bookshelf by Barbara Hoffmann

ArchivedHappened in March 2016

What are the favorite books of designers who normally create other people’s favorite books? We asked book designer Barbara Hoffmann to select 15 books for display at Despacio. Her selection features books that stand out for thoughtful interplays of form, material and content. Or in her words: it's the story, the smell, the touch, the grid, the look, the cover, the color, the sound, the paper, the weight, the appeal, the size, the title and ...

... many other reasons to love these books for.


Following 15 books are carefully chosen from an infinite universe of artist books, books on artist, and photo art books

Zilla and the 7th Room
Zilla Leutenegger
JRP Ringier Kunstverlag, ISBN-13: 978-3905829723

Weak Messages Create Bad Situations:
A Manifesto by David Shrigley
Canongate Books, ASIN: B0184X5I2Y

Legend of the things
Vreni Spieser
Edition Haus am Gern, ISBN-13: 978-3952369180

Without a viewer
Sandino Scheidegger
Distressed Securities & Books Ltd.

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Drawing by Cornel Windlin

Beni Bischhof
Edition Patrick Frey, ISBN-13: 978-3905929492

Thomas Ruff:
Surfaces, Depths
Kunsthalle Wien, ISBN-13: 978-3852470757

Maya Hoffmann
This is the house that Jack built
Steidl Books, ISBN 978-3-86930-935-4

Ben Vautier: Is everything art?
Museum Tinguely Basel
KEHRER Heidelberg, ISBN-13: 978-3868286496

Panorama der Menschheit in 942 Photos
3+4 Weltausstellung der Photographie, Karl Pawek
Gruner + Jahr, ASIN: B0063GD2IC

Menschen Tiere Abenteuer
Andreas Züst
Edition Patrick Frey, ISBN-13: 978-3905929935

The Home Front
Kenneth Graves
Mack, ISBN-13: 978-1910164150

Peter Weber, Mara Züst
Edition Patrick Frey, ISBN-13: 978-3905929003

Zorn: Eine Dokumentation der Verbrennungen
Benteli Verlag, ISBN 3-7165-0473-4

Utopics – Systems and Lanmarks
Simon Lamunière
JRP Ringier, ISBN 9783037640562

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

The selection of books was made by Barbara Hoffmann, as well as the design of the bookshelf. Hoffmann currently designs for Büro 146 in Zurich, Switzerland. Her participation in the Libraries in Residence initiative is made possible by the support of Pro Helvetia.

Training to Be a Girl

ArchivedHappened in March 2016
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San José

Sophie Barbasch's books originate from asking men on Craigslist simple questions like: “Are you lonely?” “Is there anything you've never told anyone?” “Tell me why I'm a good girl,” “Please send me a picture of your bed,” and “Please write me a love letter.”


Despacio presents two sets of hardcover books by New York based artist Sophie Barbasch:

HELLO I AM LONELY set of 6 books, edition of 5
... originates from asking men on Craigslist questions like: “are you lonely?” “is there anything you've never told anyone?” and “are you scared of women?” The set also includes photography books generated by requests such as “please send me a picture of your bed” and “please send me a picture of your hand,” as well as a book of pictures taken from Chat Roulette.

TRAINING TO BE A GIRL set of 10 books, edition of 5
... originates from asking men on Craigslist questions such as: “tell me why I'm a good girl,” “what do you do about heartbreak?” “what do you do when someone is gone?” “describe the perfect woman,” and “tell me about a mistake you made.” Other books include transcribed dreams, reprinted psychic readings and pictures from ads on craigslist of wedding rings and dresses for sale.

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

Sophie Barbasch is a photographer based in New York City. She earned her MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BA in Art and Art History from Brown University. Selected grants and residencies include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, and a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil.

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 AubertinGardenKarlo Andrei IbarraIgnasi AballíSite-Specific Art
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