Monday, 31 October 2022

Co-incidence # 2 in life: Brain Forest Quipu – at Tate Modern …


I wrote about the Quipu – an Andean recording device used extensively by the peoples of the Andes pre-colonisation … when I wrote about legs … and how far early peoples could run … the Andeans recording administrative details, including distance, on these quipus.


Quipu in the Museum of Machu Picchu



A Quipu is difficult to imagine … but # 2 is so relevant to our world today …




Cecilia Vicuña is a Chilean poet and artist … who through representation is noted for themes of language, memory, dissolution, extinction and exile … as well as the relevance of her work to the politics of ecological destruction, cultural homogenization, and economic disparity.


Cecilia Vicuña


She has an exhibition in the huge Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern … where her creativity has come to the fore …




Two Quipu work of arts hang 27 metres ( 90 feet!) in the Turbine Hall (gallery height 99 metres (235 feet) ) …



Courtesy of Ian Visits site

Vicuña suggests that we are at the beginning of new time, one where we must first become aware of our collective responsibility in order to change destructiveness, injustices and harm.



Working with some of the material

These two wonderful, very large hanging, artworks made from 'useful detritus and mudlarked objects' are entitled 'Dead Forest Quipu' …






The organic mudlarked items have been collected from the banks of the River Thames by women from local Latin American communities …


A sketch of a Quipucamayoc -
a chronicle of Inca history by
an indigenous early 
historian (c 1535 - 1616)


then with unspun wool, plant fibres, rope and cardboard Vicuña has created these two skeletal forms … which draw attention to the severity of the delicate nature of our ecosystems, as well as the climate crisis.




There's a 'Sound Quipu' …. bringing together indigenous music from several regions, compositional silences, new pieces by Vicuña and like-minded artists, and field recordings from nature …


Also a 'Digital Quipu' … weaves together videos of indigenous activists and land defenders to amplify their calls for us to notice their struggles …


Please read this exhibition guide … it is so informative and valuable – I feel I cannot express it properly here …


Vicuña writes “the Earth is a brain forest, and the Quipu embraces all its interconnections”


This is a thought provoking guide … I encourage you to read … also you will see more of her work and how they are set out in the Turbine Hall – separately, yet joined …


Then I move on to # 3 … which will be my next post … however re # 2 Quipu – I never expected to read about such an amazing exhibit in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern …

Mudlarking in Victorian times



Unfortunately I doubt I'll get up to London to see it … I'm rather avoiding going anywhere out of the Eastbourne area … being lazy, or sensible, or dubious about being amongst masses again …



We are so lucky having the internet to bring us articles of interest, and to have internet friends who enjoy seeing what subjects blogging/social media friends introduce us to …



I hope you appreciate the concept of the Dead Forest Quipu … here's the link to The Tate Modern - with a short 29 second YouTube introduction



It is a new multi-media installation made up of sculpture, sound, music and video, which mourns the destruction of nature and the loss of indigenous history and culture.


Ian Visits - a website I visit ... from where I found out about this amazing exhibition ... 

Tate Modern site ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories




27 comments:

Birgit said...

I remember watching episodes o archeology where they just cracked the code of what those hanging knots meant. It was so cool that it is like an old style method of transaction. This lady sounds so intelligent and we need many people to wake up and small the coffee when it comes to the rainforest.

Liz A. said...

It's fascinating how various peoples record things for posterity.

Elephant's Child said...

Vicuña suggests that we are at the beginning of new time, one where we must first become aware of our collective responsibility in order to change destructiveness, injustices and harm.
Wow, wow, and wow again.
I will assuredly read that Guide (and no doubt get lost in it). Thank you so much. So very much.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
properly provocative! Just as art ought to be. Thanks for the links. I too remain contained - and my sister has just announced going down with Covid, the very week she was supposed to be making a visit. Sigh... YAM xx

Hels said...

How delicate the unspun wool and plant fibres rope of those two skeletal forms must have been. Yes it should focus our minds on the delicate nature of our ecosystems, but also we need to thank goodness for the freaky nature of being collected from the Thames banks by local Latin American communities.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Birgit - oh thanks for pushing me to look at 'how to read a quipu' ... I've had a look, but would like to do a bit more research. The Quipu was most definitely used as a transactional record ...

Vicuña - is most definitely an interesting lady - who loves her history ... and as you say intelligent, as too the history she has about her peoples and indigenous lands ...

@ Liz - history is really interesting isn't it ...

@ EC - Vicuña's words in the Tate's guide to her work has great resonance ... so I'm delighted that you'll read through the information provided by the Tate ... I wanted to know more (I must say) ... time precludes sometime ...

@ Yam - yes ... you're right there - a very provocative sculptural art-work, which should open our eyes to life on this earth. We need to realise what we'll be missing if we don't look after this planet.

What a nuisance about your sister not being able to visit because of Covid - I was at the docs yesterday for my flu jab and they were saying it's rife down here ...

@ Hels - you've highlighted the main points of this art work ... how it represents the delicate nature of our ecosystems ... then how the local Latin American communities have collected appropriate items mudlarked from the Thames, so the installation could be put together by the artist,Vicuña.

Thanks for visiting and being so interested in these two skeletal artworks, which represent the dire situation our planet is in ... cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What an amazing exhibit! Thanks for sharing it with us.

"Our collective responsibility"...yes, indeed. Such an excellent reminder in these difficult times.

Damyanti Biswas said...

I love what the Vicuña says about, us having to be aware as a species before any real change.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

My word, Hilary, I can't even imagine artwork on a scale such as this, but if it serves to focus the public's attention on the dire plight of our planet and the inter-connectness of all life, it will serve a monumental function. I can think of no person better equipped to handle such a challenge than a woman from South America. If I lived in England I would INSIST that you and I attend this exhibit together, following which I would buy dinner at a swanky restaurant. Ah, the stuff of dreams.....Muchos fuertes abrazos y mil besos desde Ontario de tu siempre amigo David

Janie Junebug said...

Vicuña has the right idea. Her art is interesting.

Love,
Janie

Sandra Cox said...

People have always been ingenious haven't they?
Hugs

Pradeep Nair said...

I learn a lot from your posts, Hilary! Thank you, so much.
It's very interesting to know about quipu as well as Vicuna.
No doubt, we are at crossroads, in many ways, and it's time we introspect and make course corrections to make our world more inclusive and tolerant, as well as peaceful and prosperous.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elizabeth - yes I'd love to get up to visit it ... but I'm staying put in E/b - I've no wish to catch Covid ... but the exhibition guide is superbly interesting ... while some phrases used are so important to know about - as you've noted "our collective responsibility" ...

@ Damyanti - good to see you ... yes we all need to be aware we can all help each other and protect our earth for the children of the future ...

@ David - I have to admit - nor can I - but the space in the Turbine Hall is ginormous ... I've just realised I never said that the works were put together on the ground, then hauled up to hang in the Hall.

I hope the people who visit realise what the Quipus represent ... and read the accompanying info boards. Cecilia Vicuna has really stretched her creative skills along her personal journey of life - she must be amazing to hear her speak about these projects.

Ah ha - that I would love - to have you pestering me to visit and then to join you for a dinner afterwards ... with lots of intellectual chat ... a delightful thought.

@ Janie - Cecilia seems to be an amazingly interesting woman ... this idea is inspirational ...

@ Sandra - until writing and recording came along, the peoples of those times developed extraordinary ways of communicating ... you're so right ...

@ Pradeep - thank you ... it's good to know. I was/am fascinated by the Quipu - I have YouTubed it to find a bit more ... while I'm in awe of creative artists like Cecilia Vicuna - who combine art, music, and digital advantages to bring so much to visitors attention to understand more of what's happening destructively in the world today.

We are most definitely at a crossroads in our anthropogenic impact on life today. We most definitely need to consider all aspects of the planet - and encourage people to be peaceful towards each other ... so true ...

Thanks so much to the six of you for being interested in Cecilia Vicuna's artworks hanging in the Turbine Hall - and their meaning.

Cheers Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

What a great exhibit. It would be awesome to see it in person.

Teresa

Deniz Bevan said...

This is fascinating! I think anything that reminds us of how interconnected we are to each other and the planet is important.

Bish Denham said...

Wow, that is some beautiful and stirring work. I do like textile art in all it's many forms.

Joanne said...

What a quote and woman - "The Earth is a brain forest". Wow. I'm ready to fly over and go to the Tate. Then again...I hear you about being dubious amongst the masses. Crowds have been a mess lately in the news - just sadness. But this art is amazing. Great post - thanks!

H. R. Sinclair said...

That's really fascinating. Mudlark is a new term for me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa - yes ... I agree - I'd love to go up to London to see it, but perhaps next year ...

@ Deniz - it was fascinating to find out about ... I do hope it gets plenty of promotion ... I'd also love to hear Cecilia Vicuna give a talk at some stage. The way she's devised the skeleton-like mudlarked items for both art works must be amazing to see ...

@ Bish - welcome back - it must be an extraordinary work to see ... my mind doesn't really work that way ... but perhaps my brain has a little of the forest in it?!

@ Joanne - yes that definition is a brilliant 'tag-line'. I'd love to meet you over here ... but as you say travel is not easy at the moment ... but delighted you enjoyed seeing it - thank you.

@ Holly - it must be quite extraordinary to actually see, perhaps next year ... I might do something.

Mudlarking ... lots of treasures in the river Thames that these so called nick-named people find - Roman and other coins: as examples ...

Thanks so much for visiting and for being interested in the artworks ... cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Fascinating, Hilary! Everything in your post. And this quote struck a read chord with me: "the Earth is a brain forest, and the Quipu embraces all its interconnections."

Rhodesia said...

Yet another educational post that I knew nothing about. You never cease to amaze me with what you discover.
Regarding crowds, I am also not happy to go where there are many people. the supermarket is more than enough for me!
Take care and stay safe. Cheers Diane

Jacqui Murray said...

"the relevance of her work to the politics of ecological destruction, cultural homogenization, and economic disparity."--that is a mouthful!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - thanks ... it's a piece of art that's difficult to envision - let alone then realise all the connections that Cecilia Vicuna talks about in the Tate overview ...

@ Diane - thank you ... nor did 'til I posted it! But I felt it was very relevant ... so I'm happy to have written up a post for it ...

I keep clear as best I can - we're lucky as the town has a number of attractions and places to visit without, most of the time, being saturated with people!

@ Jacqui - Yes - it was difficult for me to draft up ... I had to hope readers/commenters would find something of relevance to latch on to ...

Thanks so much you three - I really need to get up to see this art work to fully comprehend it - sadly that's not likely ... so pleased to have your interest and comments - cheers Hilary

Sherry Ellis said...

Thanks for sharing this. Both the Inca and the Mayas are so good with textiles!

J Lenni Dorner said...

That's great information! It's amazing how much history and culture existed in North and South America before Europeans got here. It's great that some of it survived and now is honored instead of destroyed.

"I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of." —Joss Whedon

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

Friko said...

I was just about to congratulate you on your courage to get into crowded spaces again, going as far as London with its convoluted traffic and travel systems, when I saw you had got your info off the internet. A lesson for me, one doesn't have to attend everything in the flesh to partake of interesting events.
I had never heard of today's subject here, a very good way to learn, just following your posts.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sherry - yes you're right ... they've always been that way I guess ... as we see their abilities with their knitwear ...

@ JL - thank you ... it's good to read your comment.

@ Friko - you spotted I still haven't got on a train! We can learn incredible things from the internet, sometimes tying them in with a tv programme as I did here can bring it to life - also perhaps by being aware of the Museums or Exhibitions Centres we can find them ... if we brave the trains again.

Cheers - thanks for visiting the three of you ... all the best on this Bonfire Night. Hilary