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Cecilia Vicuña

(Santiago, Chile, 1948) Poet and artist based in New York and Santiago, Chile. Her work is noted for themes of language, memory, dissolution, extinction, and exile. Vicuña began creating “precarious works” and quipus in the mid-1960s 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. Vicuña has authored over 27 books of poetry and art. She is the co-founder of, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to indigenous oral tradition. Her retrospective exhibition Seehearing the Enlightened Failure opened at the Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam (2018) and traveled to the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2020) and Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2021); in 2022, it will open at El Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia, Bogota. Also this year, a solo exhibition of her work opens at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Vicuña’s works are included in the collections of the Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago; Museo de Arte de Lima, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago.