Vicuña was studying in London at the time of the 1973 military coup in Chile. Exiled from her home country, she committed herself to activism from abroad and to the research of Indigenous cultures of the Americas. During a trip across the Amazon rainforest in 1977, she had a vision of a palabrarma : a “word- weapon” that would mobilize poetic language as a form of political resistance. Each drawing in this series is a playful reinvention of existing words, unfolding new meanings out of their parts.
Gallery label from 2022