Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña has created a poignant new artwork for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, by Hyundai commission.
Cecilia Vicuña’s Brain Forest Quipu is a multi-part installation made up of sculpture, sound, music and video. The quipu is an ancient South American recording and communication system made from knotted threads. At the center are two sculptures that hang 27 meters from the ceiling. They are woven together using a range of organic materials, including found objects, unspun wool, plant fibers, rope and cardboard to evoke the look of bleached-out trees and ghostly forms.
Vicuña created the soundscape with Colombian composer Ricardo Gallo. It brings together Indigenous music from around the world, Vicuña’s own voice and music from fellow artists, alongside field recordings of nature and moments of silence. On digital screens, Vicuña presents a collection of videos by Indigenous activists and land defenders seeking justice for their people and our planet.
Through this installation, the artist asks visitors to think about the destruction of our forests, the impact of climate change, violence against Indigenous people, and how we can come together to make change and begin a process of repair.