Is it okay to enjoy an art exhibit even if you don’t quite get it…and then if the explanations given don’t seem to help illuminate anything? This is what I wondered as we strolled through an exhibit entitled ‘Monsters, Heroes and other extraordinary beings’ in the Costa Rican Gold Museum last week.
This question, the universal existential one was posed and I wondered excitedly, “could the answer be right here in Costa Rica at last?” Apparently not but the concept of Monsters and heroes converging intrigued me as displayed in this artists photo…
…and followed me into the rest of the permanent exhibit which is dedicated to pre-Colombian Costa Rican history.
The contradiction of monster within the hero (or visa versa?) seemed more appropriate to a lot of the exquisite indigenous art in the museum.
In the many excellent museums I’ve visited here over the years I’m always struck by how the exquisite artifacts have approximated dates which end suddenly around the 1500’s…after contact with the Spanish invaders or more precisely the ‘conquistadors’. I think it’s the first time I’ve realized that pre-Columbian, which refers only to latin america, actually means pre-Columbus. The time that followed saw near genocidal destruction of a culture by the looters of gold…Maybe the monsters or heroes question made much more sense among these artifacts.
Oh well, lots of candidates these days too for the monsters or heroes prize!