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 Admission with Museum Card

Cecilia Vicua: Songs to the Waters

, Helsinki

  • 10.9.2021–14.1.2022

Poetry and political resistance are inextricably intertwined in the artistic work of Cecilia Vicua. The Chilean artist's works are on display for the first time in Finland.


Cecilia Vicua is a visual artist, poet and activist whose art inseparably links poetry and political resistance. Since the 1960s, Vicua has been working on ecological questions, human rights and social injustices. Following the Chilean coup in 1973, Vicua left Santiago to go into exile in London and then moved to New York in 1980.

The exhibition centers on Vicuas documentary film Kon Kon (2010), which discusses the privatization of waterways, the destruction of natural resources as well as the breakdown of the human-nature relationship. Combining poetry and documentary, the film weaves around the Aconcagua river, which runs from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean near the city of Concn in Chile. Vicua's artistic work began by this river in the 1960s.

In Chile, natural waterways have been privatized, which has caused serious consequences for both the indigenous peoples and the river valley environment. Kon Kon is a poem about the vanishing of a beloved river. In addition to the river, the culture and practices of the indigenous peoples have also disappeared in the area. The sacred circulation of water from glacier to river, ocean and clouds is disrupted when companies pump the water high up in the mountains before it reaches the valley below. Rivers dry up or companies fill them with toxic water, destroying the flora, fauna and culture of the river valleys.

The other piece in the exhibition, Cantos del Agua (2015) is a documentation of a collective performance. Vicua invited female sound artists to improvise a water song with her. The aim was that the song would reach both decision-makers and the waters.

The creation of sensuous, sensitive and spiritual connections with other beings is emblematic of Vicua's artistic process. Her pieces about oceans and rivers often seek to revive something lost and forgotten, approaching ancient traditions and reinforcing erased cultural memory.

The exhibition is curated by Elina Suoyrj.

Cecilia Vicua (b. 1948) is a poet, artist, film maker and activist who lives and works between New York and Chile. She has published 22 poetry and art books. Vicuas work has been exhibited widely and internationally in museums, biennials and galleries.

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Museum contact details

Kmp Galleria, Mikonkatu 1, 00100 Helsinki

Museum website

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Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


, Kmp Galleria, Mikonkatu 1, 00100 Helsinki


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Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Opening hours

Mon 11:00-20:00
Tue 11:00-20:00
Wed 11:00-20:00
Thu 11:00-20:00
Fri 11:00-20:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00