poet, artist, activist, and filmmaker
Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, activist, and filmmaker whose work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. Born and raised in Santiago de Chile, she has been in exile since the early 1970s, after the military coup against president Salvador Allende. In the mid-1960s, she began creating impermanent performative installations that disappear and quipus, recovering ancient traditions to create new metaphors. She named these works “Arte Precario”, as a new independent and non-colonized category for her art. Creating channels between the past and the present, she proposes situations of contact, healing, fluidity, and coexistence, bringing together subjective and collective experiences.
Her work has been included in the 59th Venice Biennale, where she received the Golden Lion Award, 2022; and in Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, 2017. A solo exhibition of her work has been organized at the Guggenheim Museum, 2022. Vicuña has authored over 25 art and poetry books. She is the co-founder of oysi.org, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to indigenous oral tradition. She lives and works between New York City and Santiago de Chile.