Cecilia Vicuña, Carolina Castro Jorquera
Reading time: 9 minutes
A reflection across the work of Cecilia Vicuña on the meaning of being indigenous and the questioning of the colonialist gaze that has conditioned the relationship with our natural and race roots.
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Lynn White, Jr. as quoted by Cecilia Vicuña in the exhibition catalogue entitled Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen (The Siglio Press in partnership with the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, 2017): 115. Translator’s rendition of Castro Jorquera’s Spanish-language paraphrase.
In an interview with Julia Brian-Wilson, published in Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, op. cit., 110. Translator’s rendition of Castro Jorquera’s Spanish-language citation.
Curatorial wall text at Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen. New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, 16 March-18 June 2017. Andrea Andersson and Julia Bryan-Wilson, co-curators. Translator’s rendition of Castro Jorquera’s Spanish-language citation.
Lucy Lippard, Floating Between Past and Future: The Indigenization of Enviromental Politics, op. cit., 130.
Andrea Andersson, Vicuña in Retrospect, op. cit., 124. Translator’s rendition of Castro Jorquera’s Spanish-language citation.
Dieter Roelstraete, documenta 14 catalogue.
In fact, Vicuña’s documenta 14 participation was entitled “The Story of the Read Thread.” However, a typographical error—read instead of red—ended up so insistently repeated that the artist ultimately decided to maintain it. The story is in fact dedicated to the red thread found throughout Vicuña’s work. At age of six, the artist learned of a little boy popularly known as the “the mummified child of El Cerro Plomo” whom the Inca had buried at the top of the mountain that originates the Mapocho Valley (today’s Santiago). The mummy was said to grasp a red thread as an offering to life’s eternal thread, as well as to water.
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