Just weeks after snagging Venice Biennale’s coveted Golden Lion, Chilean artist, poet, and activist Cecilia Vicuña has been tapped to create the 2022 Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The work will be on view at the massive London space from October 13, 2022, to April 16, 2023. In receiving the prestigious commission, the artist—who in the course of a fifty-year career has built an expansive and variegated practice addressing issues including environmentalism and feminism—joins artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson, Doris Salcedo, Anicka Yi, Kara Walker, and Ai Weiwei.
“As a tireless champion of ecological awareness and social justice, as well as the creator of stunning and powerful works of art, I am delighted that Tate Modern will be working with Cecilia Vicuña on our next annual Hyundai Commission,” said Tate director Francis Morris.
The Santiago–born Vicuña was exiled from her native Chile in the early 1970s following the violent military coup that ousted President Salvador Allende. Now living in New York, she is known for works informed by the Indigenous culture of her home country and by the economic, political, environmental, and gender disparities that affect societies. She is best known for her quipus, strands of knotted fibers that reference the ancient Andean communication system; “precarios,” objects made from discarded materials and exuding a sense of impermanence; film; collective performance, and installations; she has additionally published twenty-seven volumes of poetry.
Tate last year acquired Vicuña’s 2017 work Quipu Womb (The Story of the Red Thread, Athens), which consists of fifty strands of unspun wool cascading from the center of a ceiling-hung metal hoop and is said to reference menstrual blood. For Artforum’s March 2021 issue, Vicuña shared a portfolio of work from the beginning of her career.