Burying Treasure in Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Part II
April 29 – May 9, 2014
Costa Rica


This second expedition to Isla del Coco completed the site-specific component of ‘Treasure of Lima: A Buried Exhibition‘. This project involved the burial of a sealed exhibition architecture designed by Aranda/Lasch – containing numerous works by leading artists – at an undisclosed location. Drawing upon the numerous legends of buried treasure associated with Coco, and contrasting them with the island’s real status a natural treasure worthy of protection, Treasure of Lima challenges practices of access and exclusion while endeavouring to provide an answer to the question ‘How can an exhibition create its own legend?’.

In this second expedition the Dardanella hosted three new fellows: artists Andrew Ranville and Julian Charrière, and Conservationist, Shark Biologist, Research Diver and Videographer Ocean Ramsey.

Ranville’s projects explore ideas related to site-specificity and viewer interaction. From 2010-2013 he has developed and established the Rabbit Island Residency program on a remote forested island located in Lake Superior, Michigan. During the past three summers lived and worked on the island as Residency Administrator and Lead Artist.

Julian Charrière’s work oscillates between scientific and artistic endeavors, frequently engaging with ecological and environmental themes. Chief among his interests is the interrelationship between human life and natural order.

Ocean Ramsey is a shark specialist, research assistant, safety diver and marine conservation campaigner. Along with these professional interests she is a competitive freediver, swimmer and surfer.
Cocos Island is located about 550km off the pacific shore of Costa Rica – and is often dubbed “Shark Island” for the abundance of sharks that live in its waters, including white tipped reef sharks, whale sharks, and scalloped hammerhead sharks.

The uninhabited island is famous for being a target of many treasure seekers and offers not only a richness of myths, but also richness of flora and fauna. Costa Rica declared the island a National Park in 1978 and the UNESCO named it World Heritage Site in 1997. The Seamounts Marine Management Area – the marine reserve created in 2011 that surrounds the island – is larger than the Yellowstone National Park and second only to the Galápagos National Park in terms of marine protected areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

The island is of volcanic and tectonic origin and the only one that appears on the so-called Cocos Plate. With four bays, three of them to the north side, the Island has several rivers and streams that drain the abundant rainfalls into them. The mountainous landscape and the tropical climate combine to create over 200 waterfalls throughout the island. The cloud forests at higher elevations are also unique as the high proportion of endemic species.