La India Contaminada, by Cecilia Vicuña
Until July 6th, the Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña presents at Lehmann Maupin a comprehensive exhibition of all her work (1969- 2017). In addition, the project La India Contaminada will be exhibited simultaneously at the Brooklyn Museum.
In this global exhibition of her work, Vicuña exhibits her raw wool installation and sculpture known as Quipu. This series aims to reinvent the ancient Andean system that recorded statistics and narratives through the knotting of colored thread.. While the "quipu" were always considered as a natives bureaucratic device, researches have shown they represented a complex system of knowledge, with symbolic and virtual dimensions of enormous existential and social value that connected communities.
With regard to this cognitive conception of the "quipu", Vicuña built her Quipus as poems in space. For the Chilean artist, her work is connected to Quantum Poetics and the indigenous worldview of Americas.
Creating a visual meditation on the liminal spaces between life and death, Vicuña´s work is, likewise, a critical interpretation to contemporary humanity: from the Anthropocene, the totality of her work dialogs with nature conditions of the past and the present. A reminder of the hubris that separates humanity from nature, asking us to reconsider our origins and interconnectedness.
Another part of this exhibition is another sculptural series, Lo Precario. Each component—found scraps of cloth, shards of plastic, a feather, a leaf, a butterfly, a pencil—is included for its formal and representational potential. This gives each object infinite complexity on its own, a synecdoche of the larger installation as a whole, meant to be interpreted as a constellation.
Although the Chilean artist has been producing for more than 20 years in New York, this is the first time that a gallery gives her the opportunity to show the entire universe of her artwork.