Estrecho Dudoso: Costa Rica as the epicentre of visual art

January 2007 -

Estrecho Dudoso (Doubtful Strait) is a large international event for the visual arts being held from 1 December 2006 through 15 February 2007 in Costa Rica. It is staged in museums, institutes and public spaces in San José and Alajuela. More than seventy artists, most of whom from Latin America, are participating.

The event coincides with the designation of San José as the cultural capital of Latin America 2006. Virginia Pérez-Ratton from the TEOR/éTica foundation dreamed of plans for an event of this size for quite some time. When Hivos approached her about organising a regional event within the framework of San José's appointment, everything fell into place. An event of this scope has never before been organised in Central America. The proposal was well-received internationally, resulting in participation and assistance from various museums, art collectors and organisations.

Estrecho Dudoso is dedicated to the artists Juan Downey (Chile, 1940 - 1993) and Margarita Azurdia (Guatemala, 1931 - 1998). Both made important contributions to the visual arts in Latin America. Two retrospective expositions of their work are presented. The event also boasts four collective expositions, each with its own theme and a specific location. The themes of the expositions are closely related, each melting with the next in a sense. The thread running through them all is the concept of borders. Geographic, political and symbolic borders. Borders in the broadest sense of the word.

According to curator Pérez, the event reflects the world of today and the arts, including not only poetic works but also some with a political content. The event has the objective of looking beyond borders to strengthen the relationships between the various artists. "In a time in which diversity is the primary theme of most projects, we want to work more from the similarities within that diversity. This could contribute to greater and better understanding of the work of artists in various places in the world."