Tania Bruguera is a political and interdisciplinary artist who focuses on behavior as the principal resource of her work and who studies ways of delivering information in art such as rumor. Bruguera calls this "Arte de Conducta". She sees Art as an experience (both physical and psychological), as a free space where things are possible even if only in a specific timeframe, place or for a particular group of people. Her work is often of an ephemeral nature because of the use of live actions and/or fragile materials, but also because of the ephemeral condition of any political "truth".

Bruguera defines her work as a response to her cultural surroundings, where the strictly personal and intimate merges with the collective and the social, in an attempt to create works in which the line between reality and art is blurred. The artist chooses a gesture to translate a mental state and repeats it ad infinitum. Anguish, guilt, powerlessness, silence, atonement seem to be Bruguera’s response mechanisms. The prolongation of the action, always painful due to the degree of intensity and extension the artist puts into her enactment, disrupts the performance, making it a sacrifice. Human behaviour becomes a medium through which an understanding of society can be reached.

Hence, Tania Bruguera believes that, “once a work of art enters a museum, it dies, because the possibilities for interpretation die. In places like that, a meaning is imposed on a piece through the power of the institution, precisely because they have previously stamped meanings onto other works, and been able to sustain and legitimise them. And art becomes a chain of solutions for a language that operates within its own language, almost like a science, but without the utilitarian applications”. For Bruguera, “If the artist is society’s conscience, then why not be alarmist? Why not stop representing and start presenting? Instead of putting other worlds into art, why not put art out into the world? We should work with our bodies, with impact, with attention and with society like living beings.”

Born in Havana in 1968,where she graduated in 1992 from the Instituto Superior de Arte de Habana, she currently lives and works between Chicago and Havana. She is the founder / director of Arte de Conducta, the first performance studies program in Latin America, hosted by Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and the University of Chicago. Bruguera has participated at Documenta 11, as well as in several biennales such as Venice, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Shangai, Havana, and Site Santa Fe. Her work has also been exhibited in numerous museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, the Helsinki Art Museum, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Stedelijk Museum von Actuele Kunst and the Institute of International Visual Art, among many others.

This event is part of Algo Más Que Palabras / Something More Than Words

Tania Bruguera  
  • Sat 05.5.2007
    20:30 - 20:30
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