Cecilia Vicuña

Guest Artist 2019

Cecilia came to CERN invited as a guest artists to explore the world of particle physics after her inspiring time in La Silla Observatory, Chile. While she was here she explore ideas through conversation, visiting labs and experiments, as well as accesing to the underground detectors at the Large Hadron Collider.

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. 

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