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Cecilia Vicuña on Site at the 2022 Venice Biennale


Chilean-born poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña’s career spans half a century – and throughout, she has been focused on a few central themes: human-generated environmental crisis, extinction, and human rights. Yet it’s only in the last few years that she has received the critical recognition she deserves. In this episode of ‘Meet the artists’, we delve into her work, which documents the profound connection between the earth, body, and human experience. In the 1960s, she created the term ‘Arte Precario’, which she defines as ‘acknowledgment of the precariousness of life, the precariousness of the beauty of being.’

Her practice was rediscovered over the last decade, and since been shown at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and LA’s Hammer Museum. ‘A few years ago, my paintings were being destroyed, even by my family and friends,’ she says. In the film, she recounts her creative journey from Santiago to New York from within her installation at the Venice Biennale – which awarded her the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

Produced by Art Basel