Cecilia Vicuna

Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure

The first retrospective of Vicuña's work in Spain

22 Feb 2021
Guest Artists

Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure brings together over a hundred works by poet, visual artist, and activist Cecilia Vicuña

The first retrospective of Cecilia Vicuña's work in Spain senses failure, as the exhibition's name suggests. Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure brings together over a hundred works by poet, visual artist, and activist Cecilia Vicuña at CA2M – Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Madrid).

20 February – 11 July 2021

Since the 1960s, Cecilia Vicuña has been offering a radical view of the relationship between art and politics through her writing and her artistic creation. After leaving her native Chile for London in 1972, she worked in different parts of the world, eventually settling in New York in 1980. For decades, Vicuña has been forging a varied and multi-disciplinary body of work, built using words, images, environments and a combination of languages, media and techniques.

In 2019, Vicuña visited CERN invited as a Guest Artist to explore the world of particle physics after her inspiring time in La Silla Observatory, Chile. During her time in the Laboratory, she explored ideas through conversations with CERN scientists, visiting experiments, and accessing the Large Hadron Collider's underground detectors.

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Cecilia Vicuña at the CMS Expeirment at CERN in 2019. Photo by Claudia Marcelloni.

Curated by Miguel A. López, Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure showcases the artist’s ongoing commitment to themes ranging from eroticism, colonial legacies, the struggle for liberation, collective joy, indigenous thought and environmental destruction. Starting with words, she constructs huge installations and paintings that draw from certain indigenous languages while also focusing on her relationship with nature and feminism. She also compiles different types of documentation that narrate part of her journey, making her work timelessly radical.

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Cecilia Vicuña. La ruca abstracta, 1974. Installation. Bamboo, wool, thread, precarious objects, and seven oil paintings. Photo of the installation at CA2M, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid.

The exhibition is presented jointly by Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam, and CA2M – Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo.