“No Text without Context: Habacuc Guillermo Vargas’s Exposition #1” Cover Image

“No Text without Context: Habacuc Guillermo Vargas’s Exposition #1”
“No Text without Context: Habacuc Guillermo Vargas’s Exposition #1”

Author(s): Kency Cornejo
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku
Keywords: Context, Habacuc, Guillermo Vargas

Summary/Abstract: For half a decade, a global public has condemned the art of the Costa Rican conceptual artist Habacuc [Guillermo Vargas]; questioned his authenticity as an artist; and denounced his moral and ethical stance as a human being. He has received countless death threats by the public both in and outside international art communities. Worldwide blogs dedicated to his defamation exist in English, Spanish, Turkish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Bulgarian, Danish, Romanian, and many other languages. In addition to the written word, vitriolic manifestations towards the artist appeared in various visual forms and performances. Together with the online petition composed of four million signatures, protestors demanded the artist’s removal as a participant in the 2008 Central American Biennial held in Honduras. Similarly, any local art professionals who spoke in defense of the artist—or any foreign institutions that economically supported art spaces exhibiting Habacuc’s art—were not spared scrutiny or threats. What could provoke such international outcry that, beyond criticism, sought complete expulsion of a Central American artist from his own artistic context? Habacuc’s installation Exposition #1 (2007), exhibited in Nicaragua at the Gallery Codice of Managua, is at the center of the controversy. The work is often referred to as “eres lo que lees” [you are what you read], but it is popularly identified with the vulgar phrase “starving dog art.”

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 53-59
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: English