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Cecilia Vicuña, Performance on Migration and Movement

Cecilia Vicuña, Performance on Migration and Movement

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm


In conjunction with Ellen Rothenberg’s exhibition at Spertus Institute, Cecilia Vicuña presented a series of performances and interventions on movement, migration, and human rights. Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist whose work often addresses pressing concerns of the modern world including ecological destruction, human rights and cultural homogenization.

Spertus Institute has commissioned this site-specific installation by internationally-acclaimed, Chicago-based artist Ellen Rothenberg. Entitled ISO 6346: ineluctable immigrant, it will be on view in the Institute’s Ground Level Gallery through April 22, 2018. With this work, Rothenberg prompts visitors to consider connections between past and contemporary issues of migration. The project is inspired by objects and documents that Rothenberg uncovered in the Spertus collection — as well as research she pursued in Berlin at Germany’s largest refugee camp, currently housed in the monumental Tempelhof Airport, a disused site that was originally designed and built by the Nazis.


Cecilia Vicuña was born and raised in Santiago de Chile. She has been in exile since the early 1970s, since the military coup in which president Salvador Allende was overthrown. Vicuña's multidimensional works begin as a poem, an image that morphs into a film, a song, a sculpture, or a collective performance. These ephemeral, site-specific performance installations combine ritual and assemblage. She calls this impermanent, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious), a bridge between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. In Chile she founded the legendary Tribu No in l967, a group that created anonymous poetic actions in Santiago. In l974, when living in London, she co-founded Artists for Democracy to oppose. Her art has been exhibited at The Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago; The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London; The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; The Berkeley Art Museum; The Whitney Museum of American Art; and MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was included in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, Germany, 2017. She divides her time between Chile and New York.


Spertus is pleased to partner with:
     Poetry Foundation
This program is partially supported by a grant from the
Illinois Arts Council Agency.


Image at left

Performance by Cecilia Vicuña. Photo courtesy Cecilia Vicuña.

Related Events

Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 5:30 - 8 pm
Opening Reception
Spertus Institute

Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 7 - 8 pm
An Evening of Readings and Performances
Featuring writer and translator
Nathanaël, artist and translator
Jennifer Scappettone, and writer
and code artist Judd Morrissey
Poetry Foundation

Sunday, March 4, 2018 | 3 - 4 pm
Gallery Talk
Artist Ellen Rothenberg and
Curator Ionit Behar
Spertus Institute

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | 6 - 7 pm
Cecilia Vicuña, Performance on Migration and Movement
Chilean artist, writer, and activist
Spertus Institute

public hours

Sunday 10 am- 5 pm
Monday-Wednesday 9 am- 5pm
Thursday 9 am- 6 pm
Friday 9 am - 3 pm

Spertus will be closed for Passover all day April 1, at 3 pm April 5, and all day April 6.

The Asher Library and Ground Level Arts Lab will be closed April 9-11 for a special event.

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