Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen
Vicuña makes art of gathered materials from the ocean, the river and the street. Beginning and ending at the edge of the ocean, Chileanborn artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña's (born 1948) artist's book serves as both a lament and love letter to the sea. Vicuña collects the detritus that washes up on shore and assembles out of the refuse tiny precarios and basuritas—little sculptures held together with nothing more than string and wire.
About to Happen, which accompanies an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, traces a decades-long practice that has refused categorical distinctions and thrived within the confluences of conceptual art, land art, feminist art, performance and poetry. In an era of increasing climate change and economic disparity, Vicuña’s nuanced visual poetics—operating fluidly between concept and craft, text and textile—transforms the discarded into the elemental, paying acute attention to the displaced, the marginalized and the forgotten.