Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña has garnered her reputation through evocative, multidimensional works that span performance, poetry, drawing, and film. Lo Precario/The Precarious features more than 50 of her lyrical, intimately scaled sculptures made from cast-off items—shells, glass, plastic, net, seeds, and stones, to name a few—that are carefully tethered together and balanced. Each precario, and the constellation of them presented here, serves as a “spatial poem” and an allegorical nod to the sociocultural and natural processes that produced, discarded, and degraded these materials.
Since beginning the body of work in the late 1960s, Vicuña has developed her practice of making precarios into a broader conversation about political struggle, the displacement and erasure of indigenous people in a time of increasing globalism, and the alarming, ever more apparent effects of climate change on the natural world. These themes now thread throughout her work in other mediums as well as her sculpture. This exhibition will feature new precarios created with materials found around the Wexner Center and Columbus along with a selection of her artist’s books that have never before been shown in a museum.