About to Happen
Beginning and ending at the edge of the ocean at the sacred mouth of the Aconcagua River, About to Happen serves as a lament as well as love letter to the sea. In this artist’s book, Chilean-born artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña weaves personal and ancestral memory while summoning the collective power to confront the economic disparities and environmental crises of the 21st century.
Collecting the detritus that washes up on shore, Vicuña assembles out of the refuse tiny precarios and basuritas—little sculptures held together with nothing more than string and wire, which she sometimes makes as offerings to be reclaimed by the sea. These acts of creation and erasure mirror the ways in which her work inhabits and enlivens the liminal spaces between the remembered and forgotten, the revered and the discarded, the material and the dematerialized.
About to Happen 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. 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.
With essays by Andrea Andersson, Lucy Lippard and Macarena Gómez-Barris, and an interview by Julia Bryan-Wilson
160 pages with color illustrations throughout / 8 x 8 inches / ISBN: 978-1-938221-15-6 / Pub date: April 25 / Available now at Siglio
The eponymous exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans runs until June 18, 2017. It will travel to the Berkeley Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Art-Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019.
Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago, Chile) is a poet, visual and performance artist, and filmmaker whose multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional works bridge art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. Vicuña’s work emphasizes transformative acts and “metaphors in space”: an image becomes a poem, a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. Beginning often with a delicate line (drawn or written) or a piece of string, she weaves complex works that are rich with political and social awareness as well as aesthetic beauty.
This year Vicuña’s work is also included in Documenta 14, both in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany, in addition to the solo exhibition at the CAC. She is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and co-editor of The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry as well as co-founder of oysi.org, a site for the oral cultures and poetries of the world.
Widely exhibited internationally, Vicuña’s work is in the collections of Tate Gallery in London, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Chile in Santiago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. She is represented by England & Co. Gallery in London.
About Siglio Press
Recently relocated from Los Angeles to the Hudson River Valley in New York, Siglio is an independent press dedicated to publishing uncommon books that live at the intersection of art and literature. Artists and writers we publish include Joe Brainard, Marcel Broodthaers, John Cage, Sophie Calle, Karen Green, Dorothy Iannone, Jess, Ray Johnson, Richard Kraft, Robert Seydel, and Nancy Spero.
About Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, is a multidisciplinary arts center dedicated to presenting and enriching the art of our time—performing arts, visual arts, and, most importantly, work that operates at the intersection of these two forms.
About the collaboration
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen is the second in in a collaborative series of artist’s books in which each year Siglio and Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans invite an artist to intervene in the history and space of the book in conjunction with an exhibition at CAC. The first in this series was Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible.