Cecilia Vicuna

Cecilia Vicuña

Guest Artist 2019

Cecilia Vicuña is a Chilean poet and artist based in New York and Santiago, Chile. Her work is noted for themes of language, memory, dissolution, extinction and exile.

Her 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 elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña began creating "precarious works" and  quipus in the mid-1960s in Chile, as a way of "hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard." Her multi-dimensional works begin as a poem, an image that morphs into a film, a song, a sculpture, or a collective performance. These ephemeral, site-specific installations in nature, streets, and museums combine ritual and assemblage. She calls this impermanent, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious): transformative acts that bridge the gap between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. 

In 2019, Cecilia 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, as well as accessing to the underground detectors at the Large Hadron Collider.

Cecilia Vicuña's Guest Artist visit was supported by Centro Cultural de España, Santiago de Chile.