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Reimagining the Border


Reimagining is the great title of a sequence of visual arts exhibitions that arose from the need to face the transformations caused by the SARS-CoV-2, from the standpoint of possibilities offered by artistic creation and the museum as an institution.

The BCCR Visual Arts collection, in particular, includes works made in pre-pandemic contexts. They relate in several ways to some of the issues that became sensitive because of the direction taken by the political management of the pandemic: corporal distancing, confinement, border closure, health security, slow-down processes, reconfiguration of socio-economic dynamics, and environmental regeneration.

The works of art offer us possibilities to approach and connect from unsuspected perspectives with some of these issues and, through them, get a glimpse of some key aspects to drive one or many processes of reimagining our role in shaping the realities we need. In this exercise of correlations, three themes emerged which demand an urgent exercise of imagination: the community, the frontier and change.

Reimagining the border

How is a virus able to impact the ways geographic borders are managed? How does this illustrate our relationship with the territory and the contrast between limited access and the unmeasured exploitation of its natural resources? How has it expanded the gaps between different populations, particularly with regards to migrants or “foreigners”? How have the boundaries between public and private space, the physical and the virtual, have changed everyday life? How are the borders or limits of our body redimensioned in confinement or social distancing? Questions such as these are some of the starting points for the new exhibit Reimagining the Border, which also emphasizes the possibility we have of reimagining borders at present and in the future towards the common good. For this purpose, it includes more than 37 works from our visual arts collection that, at the time of their creation, came close to notions and different problems relating to the borders of the spaces we inhabit, spanning from the territorial to the borders of our own body. The Reimagining trilogy stems from the conviction of being able to foster connections between the present and our artistic heritage, which can deliver unsuspected perspectives on the common challenges shared in different historical times. But above all, it comes from the need and the undeniable ability all people have of reimagining, starting with those who work in artistic creation, which is indispensable in transforming reality during critical times like the times we are living today.

Borders and “the foreign virus” Understanding land as property has an historical, geopolitical, and economic background in which the concept of border has had a predominant role. The practices of appropriation, dispossession, and indiscriminate exploitation, as well as the paradigms of development which tend to overblow the expansion of construction at the expense of the environment and human integrity, have been critically studied. A respectful relationship with the land and with life is demanded.

Rosella Matamorros, El borde 2
Rosella Matamorros, The Edge 2
The border that marks the distinction between the public and the private is inseparable from cultural, socioeconomic, and biopolitical issues. Just as in the past it was usual for female artists to have to reconcile their creative work with their domestic work, some of these works were created in contexts of residential confinement. Through their interest in objects and specific details, these works create atmospheres of great expressive richness that insinuate the human dimension that inhabits these spaces and provide a certain air of the extraordinaire that appears to lift them from the everyday.

The body has been a privileged space for exploration and reflection on subjectivities.

This has given foot to approximations on the porous borders that mark the interactions with other bodies and with the environment, raising valuable questions on the role these interactions play in the configuration of who we are.

Alejandra Segovia. Abandonados en la naturaleza.
Alejandra Segovia. Abandoned in Nature

Multimedia: artist interviews

Reimaginar la comunidad

Reimagining the community


The first exhibition, Reimagining the Community, joined the sensibilities and gaze of Costa Rican creators to bring us closer to different ways of building community. Even though the artworks were made at different times in history, they carry clues on the many notions of the communal and, within this concept, of the relationship between the individual and the collective, the common good or its lack thereof, the other and us, equality and difference, coexistence and exclusion.
Reimaginar el cambio

Reimagining the change

Coming soon

The uncertainty caused by SARS-CoV-2 proved our tolerance for constant change. In artistic creation, change takes up an essential place, be it as a theme or as a resource of representation.

Visit resources

Visit this exhibit, Monday to Sunday, from 9:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Download these resources to learn more about the lives of the pre-Columbian and current indigenous peoples.

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