IAS Faculty Host Distinguished Speaker Cecilia Vicuña

Cecilia Vicuña

Last week, the School of IAS hosted Dean's Distinguished Speaker Cecilia Vicuña, a Chilean visual artist and poet whose work addresses ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. As part of her visit, Vicuña delivered a performance lecture, Living Poems, on Tuesday April 16th from 6-8pm to a large audience of campus and community members. The following day, she spent time with students in Jennifer Atkinson and Shannon Cram's Environmental Humanities class and Anida Yoeu Ali's Performing Diasporas class. Her workshop, Learning from the Ocean, involved body, mind, and unspun wool. This visit was coordinated by Amaranth Borsuk and Jennifer Atkinson, who were part of an interdisciplinary group of faculty that nominated Vicuña for this honor.

Cecilia Vicuña has lived in exile since the overthrow of the Allende government in the early 1970s. Vicuña’s ephemeral site-specific performance/installations, set in nature, streets, and museums, combine ritual and assemblage. She calls this practice “lo precario” (the precarious): transformative acts that bridge the gap between art and life, between the ancestral and the avant-garde. Her work will be on display at the Henry Art Gallery in Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, opening April 26th.