Javier Calvo

Solo yo / Only me
videoperformance, 2:00, 2012


Javier Calvo Sandí (b. 1981, Costa Rica)  received his degree in art and visual communication summa Cum Laude at the School of Art and Visual Communication at the National University of Costa Rica. He exhibited individually in 2013 at MADC in Dis- Local as well in group exhibitions in Central America, United States, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia and Guatemala. Examples in 2014 are the Bienal de Artes Visuales del Istmo Centroamérica, 9th edition in Guatemala;  El día en que nos hicimos contemporáneos, MADC. In 2013 he exhibited in 
Proyecto Reconciliaciones, Transcripciones, Facultad de Artes y Letras, Universidad de la Habana, Cuba; Construcciones e Invenciones at MADC. In 2012: Hombres entre Ruinas at Teor/éTica, San José, Costa Rica. In 2011 Javier exhibited with CABRA in Galería Vermelho, São Paolo, Brazil. In 2010: XXXL  Bienal de Pontevedra “Utrópicos”, Museo de Pontevedra, Spain, as well as  Arteamericas at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Exit – Espira/La Espora, a travelling exhibition through Central Ameria. He also participated in several residencies like La Espira/La EsporaCABRA in Bello Horizonte and São Paolo, Brazil, in 2014 his residency was with FONCA in Mexico. In 2013 Javier won the Premio Nacional J. Aquileo Echeverría for visual arts, the Premio Único, Inquieta Imagen 7th edition at MADC and in 2014 he won the FONCA grand for artists of Iberoamérica and the Caribbean. In  2009 he won Premio de gravado Máximo Ramos at Centro Torrente Ballester, España and in 2011 he won the Premio Valoarte VIII Edición in San José, Costa Rica  2011.

The author is interested in revisiting the issue of how Costa Rica has historically attempted to define itself as a country with a predominantly caucasian population. Thus, the gesture of pressing down with the index finger on the part of the burnt skin that represents the country evokes this attempt at whitening and draws attention to its need to try to appear different from the other neighbouring countries, even though, paradoxically, certain segments of its map are momentarily erased. The artist considers that the performance also evokes the religious act of beating one’s chest as a sign of guilt.