San José is a city whose buildings and shops are full of history. That’s why the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC) is inaugurating today its first exhibition of the year: “El que no enseña, no vende…diseños de tiendas con historia en San José centro” (“He who does not teach/show, does not sell… the designs of sotres with history in downtown San José“).
The exhibit will have two displays: a Conceptual Shop exhibition by artist Max Cantillo, and the design exhibition about San José’s historical shops.
Cantillo’s exhibit is a parady; it seeks to show the power of our consumer society to transform art and the way we think about merchandise. It consists of a “conceptual shop” specializing in products such as the Ouija board and vitamin supplements to enhance creativity for artists, critics and curators.
The other section of the exhibit seeks to showcase the capital’s landscape by exploring the identities of 12 of the oldest shops in San José. These businesses are Librería Lehmann, Tienda Regis, Feoli Hermanos Ltda., Distribuidora y Fábrica de Ropa Íntima Ana, Sastrería Scaglietti, Tienda La Gloria, Almacén San Gil, Almacén La Ópera, Almacén Barguil, Antonio Gazel La Favorita S.A., Bazar San José and Paragüería Rego.
Immigrants who came to Costa Rica in search of a better life for their families created the vast majority of these businesses, which have an interesting history. The owners from these businesses came from countries including Germany, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Poland and Syria.
The inauguration is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the MADC, located in San José in front of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). There is no entrance fee. On Feb. 9, 11, 16, 23, and 25, the MADC will be giving guided tours through the 12 different stores. The guided tours start at 2:00 p.m. and cost of ₡1,000 (about $2). For more information contact the MADC at proyectoseducación@madc.cr.
Learn more about immigration to Costa Rica here, or check out our new World in Costa Rica series of profiles of immigrants and their descendants.