Photo Diary: Works from the collection at MADC, Costa Rica.

Testimonio, 2003, by Isabel Ruiz, from Guatemala. Painted on 23 handkerchiefs are testimonies of violent incidents during Guatemala’s Civil War, from 1960-96. (All photos by C-M.)

The Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MADC) in San Jose, Costa Rica is the single biggest, most important center for contemporary art in Central America — with a permanent collection that is focused on the region. I’ve been to the museum countless times, but this time I was lucky enough to stumble into a show of works from their permanent collection. (It’s a small institution, so display areas are usually occupied by temporary exhibits.) Always refreshing to see work by artists operating outside of the Bermuda Art Triangle.

Colección MADC is now on view.

The anecdotes written on Ruiz’s handkerchiefs were wrenching. This one was about a group of people forced to leave an old man to his fate in the hands of the military.

Escaleras blandas, 2003, by Sila Chanto, a Costa Rican artist.

Altar, by Miguel Romero, from Honduras.

A detail of Romero’s Altar.

An installation by Venezuelan artist Maria Elena Alvarez, Observatorio, from 1999.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the wall text on this. The cubes were covered in lists of names from white pages telephone books.

Pasos Pintados de Calle y Azul Cielo, 2003, by Pedro Arrieta, from Costa Rica.

Michele Brody’s Garden-Forest, from 2000. I’m sure that one day this is how humanity will admire all nature.

The exhibit contained a typographic animation by Francisco Munguía called DJ Pulp. The above is a similar animation the artist put up on YouTube. To see what was on display at the museum, click here.

Salida, by Gustavo Araujo, from Panama.

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