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Cecilia Vicuña

Born in 1948 in Santiago de Chile
Lives and works in New York

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, visual artist and filmmaker. She has moved between her native Chile and New York City for over three decades. The author of twenty books of poetry, she exhibits and performs widely in Europe, Latin America and the United States. Her multidimensional works begin as a poem, an image or a line that evolves into a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. She calls this impermanent, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious), transformative acts which bridge the gap between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde.

Her visual work has been exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago; The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; and at The Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), in New York.

Her most recent books are: Spit Temple: Selected Oral Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012); Chanccani Quipu (Granary Books, 2012); and Sabor a Mí (Chain Links, 2011). She also co-edited The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (New York, 2009).

She co-founded, a site for the oral cultures and poetries of the world.

“I began painting early on. I did mostly abstract art, solar signs, and marks, until one day, in 1969, I saw in my mind’s eye a way to continue the tradition of the colonial ‘saints,’ subverted by an indigenous brush.”

—Cecilia Vicuña

Source: Artist website / England & Co Gallery 

This post is also available in: Spanish