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Cecilia Vicuña’s Kon Kon in NYC


Kon Kon
a film by Cecilia Vicuña
Chile, 2010
54 mins

Sunday July 3, 2011
5:30pm Ticket Booth Opens
6:00pm Film Screening

Courthouse Theatre
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave (at 2nd St)
New York, NY 10003

In this documentary poem, Cecilia Vicuña returns to Con Cón, the birthplace of her art in Chile where the sea is dying and an ancient tradition is being destroyed. Con Cón 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 one of the oldest deities of the Andes, it has been a sacred oracle site for millennia, associated with the renowned oracle site of Pachacamac on the coast of Peru. The word Con alludes to the sanctity of the cycle of water — from glacier to ocean to cloud — a circularity intensified by the repetition: Con Cón. 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-Colombian 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 a cultural memory that has been erased. In this hybrid work, part poem, part documentary, Cecilia Vicuña creates new bridges between the ancestral and the avant-garde.

The projection will be followed by a conversation with Cecilia Vicuña and producer James O’Hern facilitated by E.J. McAdams.

More info here and here.

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Michael Leong is the author of the poetry books e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge. His creative work has been anthologized in THE &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3. His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press in late 2019. His critical monograph Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in May 2020. He has received grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts.

2 thoughts on “Cecilia Vicuña’s Kon Kon in NYC

  1. Thanks so much, Elaine — Kon Kon is a really haunting film-poem…I think it might be available on DVD…will have to check…

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