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 Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 4 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

July 29, 2017
Performance Night (Facebook Event)
Artist: Eder Castillo

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.

Zines Library

ArchivedHappened in April 2017
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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 launched on April 29th at Despacio in parallel with the Naked Fish Festival taking place on the same day. It was furthermore presented during the Art Basel week in the art book fair I Never Read, 2017.

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.

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