February 11, 2021
Cecilia Vicuña premieres three short films created in Chile between 2018 and 2020, during the dramatic period leading up to the “Estallido Social,” the protest movement against the policies that ruled Chile since the military coup in 1973. She also premieres a film of her last live performance before the pandemic, conducted in February 2020 in Mexico City.

In La Escuela del Oir (27 mins), Vicuña and her collaborator Claudio Mercado recount the story of “Oysi, The School of Listening,” a diasporic non-education project in which Indigenous and Mestizo children are freed from colonizing educational systems in order to rediscover their own suppressed native culture. Rito por el Mapocho (11 mins) features a collective ritual performance against the privatization of water, conducted in December 2019 at the drying riverbed of the polluted Mapocho River in Santiago de Chile. Word-Snakes (10 mins), a video poem, is a performance by Vicuña and the Chimuchina musical group, created in the context of her exhibition at the CCE in Santiago de Chile in 2019.

Another new video poem, Quipu Lava (12 mins), features a performance created in the context of the artist's 2020 exhibition at MUAC in Mexico City, where she weaves a living quipu connecting the bodies of the participants to the sacred volcanoes that gave life to the Valley of Mexico. Human bodies become the “knots” of a language “written in red lava wool” recalling the sacredness of menstruation in a nation with one of the highest femicide rates in the world.

The screening is followed by a conversation between Cecilia Vicuña and poet and translator Daniel Borzutzky.

The first-generation son of Chilean immigrants, Daniel Borzutzky is a professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His 2016 collection, The Performance of Becoming Human won the National Book Award and his most recent publication is Lake Michigan (2018). Since 2017, he has been an editor at Kenning Editions, and has overseen the publication of new translations from Cuba and Argentina.

This is the sixth event in our year-long season dedicated to thinking about our contemporary moment through the lens of Cecilia Vicuña's work.

A premiere screening of new films by Cecilia Vicuña, and a conversation between the artist and Daniel Borzutzky

Online, 5pm PST

RSVP here for event link.

Cecilia Vicuña, "Lava Quipu," 2020, multimedia performance. Mexico City. Photo: University Museum Contemporary Art, CDMX.  Courtesy the artist and MUAC.<br />
Cecilia Vicuña, "Lava Quipu," 2020, multimedia performance. Mexico City. Photo: University Museum Contemporary Art, CDMX. Courtesy the artist and MUAC.