Random Institute is an extension of what a contemporary art institution can be, that is to say, truly unbothered by rules and bureaucracy. It is directed by and brings together
curatorial and publishing activities of the co-founders Sandino Scheidegger and Luca Müller.
Since March 2016, Random Institute is running the curatorial program at the international art center Despacio in San José, Costa Rica.
Every month, the In Focus series highlights a work of contemporary video art. Shown in full length and for a limited period of time, each work is available on demand outside of institutional walls, precisely where more and more of our time is being spent: in front of a screen.
This annual prize invites a Latin American artist or curator on a tailor-made journey through Europe, including visits to major art events like Documenta, Skulptur Projekte Münster, the Venice Biennale, Manifesta, and Art Basel, among others.
Costa Rican artist Javier Calvo is the recipient of the 2018 award.
The rules are simple. Artists play a game of soccer against art collectors. If the collectors win, they each get a work of art for free. If they lose, they each have to buy a work from an artist. A competitive game, fraught with tensions from the fragile relationship that binds artists and collectors in the same field. Two horny bedfellows who need one other but pretend like they don’t. And, in the distance, the curators, doing their best to judge a match they’ve already rigged.
It’s early evening. Spectators are trickling into the Despacio art center, drawn by the promise of an experience they will hear in silence and see with other eyes. Tonight, in meditation, they will share something special. What that is, however, we just might never know.
As if it were an appendix of the mothership, Carlos Fernández docks at Despacio a habitat that encapsulates not only his work, but also himself and even a patch of life where each one of us might find ourselves.