In 1871 the American entrepreneur Minor Keith won a contract with the government of Costa Rica to build a railroad from the capital city of San José to the port city of Limón. The project would modernize the country and increase exports, like in Chile and Peru, following the industrial expansion of the U.S. But before the Costa Rican railroad was complete in 1890, the government defaulted on its payments and renegotiated a deal which gave Keith’s company 800,000 acres of tax-free land along the railway and a 99-year lease on its operation.
For seven years, a man explored the length, width, and height of the territory of Mexico. He traveled 33,302 kilometers, documenting the borders, cities, mountains, and volcanoes that shape the country. The explorer, Santiago Arau, is a photographer and filmmaker whose project, Territorios, is the subject of an exhibition at the Museo Amparo in Puebla.
At 10:34 a.m. on December 3, 2018, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Two hours later, 350 miles above Earth’s surface, it released 64 satellites into orbit for the largest satellite launch in US history. One of those, Orbital Reflector, will be the first “purely artistic” object in space.
Every five years in Kassel, Germany, documenta is a contemporary art exhibition lasting 100 days. Each edition presents hundreds of works in and around the city, typically conceptual and frequently site-specific. Of the thousands of works shown since the first documenta in 1955, sixteen have become permanent installations in Kassel.
On September 22, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) opened in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a major development, locally and globally, and is described in superlatives: the first major contemporary art museum in Africa; the largest museum to open in Africa in a century; and the largest contemporary African art museum in the world.
The art world’s newest biennale is also the smallest. On an uninhabited Caribbean island, works by 14 artists comprise In a Land of, the inaugural edition of the Biennale de La Biche.
Five years after Maurizio Cattelan announced his retirement, following a 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, a new exhibition at the Monnaie de Paris marks his return to the art world. Not Afraid of Love includes 44 artworks installed within the Monnaie’s 18th century salons and is Cattelan’s largest exhibition in Europe to date.
On Viðey Island, near Reykjavík, Iceland, a beam of light shines up into the sky, penetrating the clouds up to an altitude of at least 4,000 meters. The light comes from the Imagine Peace Tower, a work conceived by Yoko Ono as a memorial to John Lennon and dedicated to peace.
In České Budějovice, a historic capital in the south of the Czech Republic, the city’s public art gallery has temporarily appropriated a fountain within the town square. Designed by Jan Šépka Architects for the Domu umění města (House of Art), the project creates an experience to reconsider perceptions of public space.
This weekend, a large-scale project on Italy’s Lake Iseo connected two islands to each other and to the mainland. The project is not a bridge, tunnel, or other infrastructure, but a temporary art installation by the conceptual and environmental artist Christo.