New exhibit considers the 19th century railroad as a social force

A new art exhibit addresses the power shift in Latin America with the arrival of the railroad.

The artist, Óscar Figueroa, also compared the varying contemporary views of the railroad with the current electronic culture, said the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo.

The exhibition, which opens Thursday, is titled in English “On the other side of the railroads.”

The Costa Rican artist is concerned with sociology, identity, culture and economic factors, according to a summary by the museum.

Figueroa walked some of the Central American rail lines and used some of the artifacts in his works. These included rusty spikes and rail ties.

He also addresses the many deaths that took place building the Costa Rican railroad that was promoted by U.S. citizen Minor Keith. Construction started in 1871. He tapped contemporary narratives of travelers in those times, said the museum.

Among the consideration is a study of just what is progress, said the museum.

Keith’s United Fruit Co. became a political powerhouse and also managed to obtain large tracts of land for banana cultivation. The opening Thursday is at 7 p.m.spikes071515

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