Cecilia Vicuna screens "Kon Kon"
Cecilia Vicuna screens her documentary poem "Kon Kon" on February 3, 2011. Forgive the crude rendering (this is a video recording of the screening). In the documentary poem, Vicuña returns to Con Con, the birthplace of her art in Chile where the sea is dying and an ancient oral tradition is disappearing. Con Con is located at the mouth of the Aconcagua River whose source is the glacier of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Named for Kon, the oldest deity of the Andes, it has been a sacred oracle site for millennia, associated with the most renowned oracle site of the Americas: Pachacamac on the coast of Peru. The word Con (Kon) alludes to the sanctity of the cycle of water — from glacier to ocean to cloud — a circularity intensified by the repetition: Con Con. In the sacred Valle del Aconcagua, the "bailes chinos" created a powerful mystical sound: the "sonido rajado" (torn sound), a multiphonic music of the pre-Columbian Andes. Based on dissonance, the "bailes chinos" are a collective trance dance to increase the life-force of land and water. Continuously performed throughout colonial times, the dance is now dying along with the sea. Exploring the forgotten meaning of the ancient names, the artist recovers an erased cultural memory. In this hybrid work, part poem, part documentary, Vicuña creates new bridges between the ancestral and the avant-garde.