First published in 1973, two months after the military coup in Chile, Cecilia Vicuña’s SABORAMI is a document of the times and the way in which history can change art. It is filled with the urgent hope that art, too, can change history.
Put together when Vicuña was just twenty-five years old, the poems, paintings, and objects of SABORAMI enact a complex and multidimensional conversation. The meanings of the works (which were created over a seven year period) shifted radically after the events of September 11, 1973. Their meanings continue to shift and resonate in light of political events today.
This recreation of the original SABORAMI is published with a new afterword Vicuña wrote especially for this edition.
It is a shout of protest, an accident in the cosmos, as was the coup d’etat. Its objective, says the author herself, was to create a magic work, a revolutionary work, and an aesthetic work (in that order). For me the most salient aspect of this text is its value as a testimonial or a chronicle of the announced coup d’etat.
SABORAMI anticipated over three decades in advance the theory and practice of the fusion between the visual and the verbal, including as well the multimedia convergences of the world-wide-web, that now stand at the forefront of contemporary developments in poetry and the arts.
. . . celebrations and melancholies of something that was and could continue being.
Available September, 2011.
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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.