The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) of the University of Pennsylvania will hold three presentations with the purpose of addressing political and social problems from new narratives. One of these exhibitions will feature the work of artist Cecilia Vicuña. Organized by Assistant Curator Meg Onli, the Chilean artist will exhibit Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen from February 1st to March 31st.

Ph: Alex Marks

Being Cecilia Vicuña’s largest solo show, Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen takes the form of a brief retrospective throughout her career and evolution. In this way, and positioning Vicuña’s artwork under the ICA’s project for this winter, the multidisciplinary work of the Chilean artist -sculptures, filmmaking, performances and site-specific installations- is manifested as an example of the different narratives offered by art to represent and question the same subject. 

Besides being an artist, Vicuña is a filmmaker, poet and activist. Her work is characterized by conceptual craftsmanship and the fusion between text and textile art. Thus, she constructs a language that highlights her activism: producing pieces of high symbolic charge and environmental disparities, the Chilean artist advocates ancestral traditions and social rights.

Although the exhibition, with the collaboration of Andrea Andersson, chief curator of The Helis Foundation of the Contemporary Arts Center, and Julia Bryan Wilson, University of California professor, is destined to address political issues, it is not limited to the strictly socioeconomic issues. Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen is also focused, on the dematerialization as something more than a formal consequence of the conceptualism of the 1960s and also emerges as an artistic response to radical climate change. The extraordinary range of pieces presented in the exhibition will illustrate how Vicuña's approach combines the overlapping discourses of conceptual art, terrestrial art, poetry and feminist artistic practices.