Havana City, Havanna, 31 March 2009
|Born||1968 (age 47–48)
|Alma mater||Instituto Superior de Arte,
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
|Known for||Performance art, installation, and video|
|Awards||Guggenheim Fellowship (1998), Prince Claus Prize (2000)|
From 2003 – 2010, she was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Visual Arts of The University of Chicago, United States and is an invited professor at the Università Iuav di Venezia in Venice, Italy.
On January 2, 2015, she was freed after having had three back-to-back detentions in three days, and after over a thousand artists worldwide signed an open letter to Raúl Castro calling for her release.
Bruguera's work pivots around issues of power and control, and several of her works interrogate and re-present events in Cuban history.
Her 1998 work The Burden of Guilt (El peso de la culpa) was the artist's take on a story that indigenous people in Cuba vowed to eat dirt and nothing else rather than be the captives of the Spanish conquistadors. Bruguera interpreted their act of eating dirt as "a weapon of resistance." In her performance, Bruguera stood, naked, with a lamb carcass hanging from her neck, creating both a physical and symbolic burden. For 45 minutes, she consumed soil mixed with water and salt representing tears. As Edward Rubin described it, "The harrowing piece was first performed in Havana, where the audience was duly reminded that freedom, liberty and self-determination are not abstract ideals, but achievements that deeply inscribe their meaning on our physical being."
A March 2009 performance by Tania Bruguera at an arts centre in Havana has been involved in controversy. During the performance Bruguera put up a microphone and told people in attendance they could say whatever they wanted for one minute. Various of the attendees use the opportunity to ask for “freedom” and “democracy”. One of these was the awarded blogger Yoani Sánchez. The Cuban government denounced this in a statement saying that it considered “this to be an anti-cultural event of shameful opportunism that offends Cuban artists and foreigners who came to offer their work and solidarity."
In 2011, Bruguera began working on Immigrant Movement International, a multi-part artwork expected to continue through 2015. Bruguera began in 2011 by spending a year living in a small apartment in Corona, Queens, with five illegal immigrants and their children. She was interested in experiencing some problems illegal immigrants encountered trying to survive on low pay and without health insurance. The project, funded by the Queens Museum of Art and a nonprofit arts group called Creative Time, also involved opening a storefront in New York where Bruguera wanted to hold arts workshops for immigrants, but found that most of the people who came to the store were interested in learning English or help finding employment or legal aid. As part of the work, Bruguera has launched an Immigrant Respect Awareness Campaign and launched an international day of actions on 18 December 2011 (which the UN has designated International Migrants Day), in which other artists will also make work about immigration. In 2012, she presented Surplus Value, a participatory work as part of the larger project of Immigrant Movement International. In order to enter Surplus Value, museum visitors waited in a long line, and some were randomly allowed to enter, while others were submitted to lie detector tests asking about their travel history. The exhibition space contained four reproductions of signs from Nazi labor camps.
In 2013 she initiated the project The Museum of Arte Útil in collaboration with Queens Museum of Art in New York and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (NL). Arte Útil in Spanish roughly translates as useful art, but also suggests art as a device or tool. Arte Útil imagines, creates and implements socially beneficial outcomes. The Museum of Arte Útil evolved in the Asociación de Arte Útil, a new, international membership organisation that seeks to promote and implement Arte Útil.
Bruguera has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including Documenta 11 (2002), the Bienal Iberoamericana in Lima, Peru (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2003), the Shanghai Biennale (2004), and the Gwangju Biennale in Gwangju, Korea (2008). Her work is also in the permanent collections of many institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana.
Bruguera was arrested and freed three times between December 2014 and January 2015 for having organized a public performance in La Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución. She was detained with several other Cuban artists, activists, bloggers and journalists who participated in Yo Tambien Exijo campaign. The campaign arose after Raúl Castro and Barack Obama’s declarations on December 17th, 2014 about the restoration of diplomatic ties, potentially bringing an end to five decades of hostility. The first arrests were made on Tuesday, December 30th after Bruguera called a public performance whose aim was to leave an open microphone so that Cubans could freely express their thoughts. The performance, titled Tatlin’s wisper #6 – Havana Version, was already staged in 2009 during the 10th Havana Biennial.
The event has attracted widespread media coverage both in favour and against her action and a public letter in support of Tania addressed to Raúl Castro was written and signed by over a thousand people around the globe. The letter stated: ‘We firmly believe her detention, and the withdrawal of her Cuban passport, are inappropriate responses to a work of art that simply sought to open space for public discussion.’ Eventually she was released and the Cuban government returned Tania Bruguera’s passport on 10 July 2015, six months after confiscating it.
Speaking in December 2015, Bruguera said that she still may return to Cuba. She said that at the time of her detention she only agreed to leave under two conditions: that dissidents who were arrested after attending her aborted performance in Revolution Square be release; and that the Cuban government give her a signed and stamped letter guaranteeing that she could return to Cuba.
On March 3, 2016 she launched a Kickstarter campaign to rais funds for INSTAR (Institute of Artivism Hannah Arendt). The Institute is about creating bridges of trust where there is no fear of each other; to create a peaceful and considered response where there is violence; to create a place where people with different political views can come together to build a better country.
|2004||Dated Flesh||Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, United States||Solo|
|2004||Art Projects||Art Basel, Miami, United States||Group|
|2004||Shangai Bienale||Shangai, China||Group|
|2004||Island Nations||Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Rhode Island, United States||Group|
|2003||Esercizio di resistenza||Franco Soffiantino Gallery, Turin, Italy||Solo|
|2003||Autobiografia||Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba||Solo|
|2003||The Royal, royal trip||PS1, New York, New York||Group|
|2003||Untitled||Palacio del Patio Herreriano, Valladollid, Spain||Group|
|2003||Poetic Justice||8th Istanbul Bienale, Istanbul, Turkey||Group|
|2003||The living museum||Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany||Group|
|2002||Ingeniero de almas||Palacio de Abrantes, Salamanca, Spain||Solo|
|2002||Tania Bruguera – Ghada Amer||San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, United States||Solo|
|2002||Fusion Cuisine||Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece||Group|
|2002||Extreme Existance||Pratt Institute. New York||Group|
|2002||Documenta 11||Kassel, Germany||Group|
|2002||The Stone and water||Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland||Group|
|2002||No place||IFA Gallery, Bonn, Germany||Group|
|2002||III Bienal de Lima||Lima, Peru||Group|
|2002||Untitled||F.A.I.R The Royal College, London||Group|
|2001||La isla en peso||Casa de las Américas, Havana||Solo|
|2001||Tania Bruguera||LiebmanMagnan Gallery, New York||Solo|
|2001||A little bit of history repeated||Kunst Werte, Berlin, Germany||Group|
|2001||Mercancias||Espacio C, Cantabria, Spain||Group|
|2001||Span||International Performance Arts Residency Project, London, United Kingdom||Group|
|2001||The Plateau of Humankind||49th Venice Bienal, Venice, Italy||Group|
|2001||Do you have time?||LiebmanMagnan Gallery, New York||Group|
|2000||Uno mas cerca del otro, VII Bienal de la Habana||Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, Galería de Contraminas de San Ambrosio, La Habana||Group|
|2000||Arte all Arte, 5th edition||Fortezza di Poggio Imperiale, Arte Continua, Poggibonsi, Tuscany, Italy||Group|
|2000||Exotica Incognita||3rd. Kwangju Bienale, Kwangju||Group|
|2000||Cutting Edge||ARCO: Feria de Arte Contemporáneo, Recinto Ferial Juan Carlos I Madrid, Spain||Group|
|1999||Recent work||Vera van Laer Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium||Solo|
|1999||Videodrome||The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York||Group|
|1999||Utopia-Distopia||8va. Muestra Internacional de Performance, Mexico City, Mexico||Group|
|1999||Looking for a Place, III International Biennial||SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States||Group|
|1999||Happening||Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium||Group|
|1999||Cuba – Maps of desire||Kunsthalle Wien, Austria||Group|
|1998||Art in Freedom||Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands||Group|
|1998||The Garden of Forking Paths||Helsinski City Art Museum, Helsinski, Finland||Group|
|1998||II Salón de Arte Contemporáneo||Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, La Habana||Group|
|1998||Obsesiones||Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana||Group|
|1998||De discretas autorías. Cuba y Venezuela: Nuevas poéticas||Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Mario Abreu, Maracay, Venezuela||Group|
|1998||Fragmentos a su imán||Galería Latinoamericana, Casa de las Américas, Havana||Group|
|1998||III Bienal Barro de América||Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela||Group|
|1998||Desde el cuerpo: Alegorías de lo femenino||Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas||Group|
|1997||El peso de la culpa||Tejadillo 214, Havana||Solo|
|1997||Anima||The School of the Art Institute of Chicago,Illinois, U.S||Solo|
|1997||Trade routes, 2nd Johannesburg Biennale||The Electric Workshop, Johannesburg, South Africa||Group|
|1997||1990's Art from Cuba, a national residency and exhibition program Betty Rymer Gallery||The School of the Art Institute, Chicago||Group|
|1997||Trabajo por cuenta propia||acultad de Artes y Letras, University of Havana, Havana||Group|
|1997||New Art from Cuba: Utopic Territories||Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada||Group|
|1997||Las mieles del silencio||Galería Latinoamericana, Casa de las Américas, Havana||Group|
|1997||El ocultamiento de las almas||Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana||Group|
|1996||Cabeza abajo||Espacio Aglutinador, Havana||Solo|
|1996||Lágrimas de tránsito||Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana||Solo|
|1996||23rd Sao Paolo International Biennial||Parque do Ibirapuera, Sao Paolo, Brazil||Group|
|1996||La carne||Espacio Aglutinador, Havana||Group|
|1996||I Salón Internacional de Estandartes||Centro Cultural Tijuana, Tijuana, México||Group|
|1996||Otras Escri(p)turas||Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana||Group|
|1996||Un giro de tuerca||Galería Taller de Serigrafía René Portocarrero, Havana||Group|
|1996||Mujeres por mujeres||Galería Imago, Gran Teatro de la Habana, Havana||Group|
|1995||Lo que me corresponde||Artist's home, Havana||Solo|
|1995||Soñando, with Fernando Rodriguez||Gasworks Studios Gallery, London, England||Solo|
|1995||1st Contemporary Art Competition||Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana||Group|
|1995||II Bienal del Barro||Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Lía Bermudez, Maracaibo, Venezuela||Group|
|1995||La Isla Posible||Centro di Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona, Spain||Group|
|1995||New Art from Cuba||Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England||Group|
|1995||Las formas de la tierra||Galería Buades, Madrid||Group|
|1994||La otra orilla, V Havana Biennial||Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana||Group|
|1994||Una brecha entre el cielo y la tierra||Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana||Group|
|1994||Utopía||Galería Espada, Casa del Joven Creador, Havana||Group|
|1994||Catálogo||Galería Catálogo, Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Havana||Group|
|1994||Salón de la Ciudad '94||Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana||Group|
|1993||Memoria de la postguerra||Galería Plaza Vieja, Havana||Solo|
|1993||XI International Drawing Biennial||Middlesbrough Fine Arts Museum, Cleveland, England||Group|
|1993||La nube en pantalones||Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana||Group|
|1993||Dibujo no te olvido||Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana||Group|
|1992||Ana Mendieta. Sala Polivalente||Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana||Solo|
|1992||2nd International Poster Biennial||Museo José Luis Cuevas. Mexico City||Group|
|1989||II Festival de la Creación y la investigación||Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana||Group|
|1989||Fotografía manipulada, workshop’s exhibition||Fototeca de Cuba, Havana||Group|
|1988||No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano||Fototeca de Cuba, Havana||Group|
|1987||I Festival de la Creación y la investigación||Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana||Group|
|1986||Marilyn is alive||Galeria Leopoldo Romañach. Academia de San Alejandro, Havana||Solo|
|1986||Proteo,Galería Leopoldo Romañach||Academia de Artes Plásticas San Alejandro, Havana||Group|
- 2013 Meadows Prize. Meadows School of Art and The Meadows Foundation. Texas, United States.
- 2012 :Honorary Committee. 40 Years of Latino Arts & Culture. El Museo del Barrio. New York, United States.
- 2012: Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award. Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales, Contemporary Art Collection. Wales, United Kingdom.
- 2012: Artes Mundi Finalist. National Museum of Art. Wales, United Kingdom.
- 2011: Mid-Career Artist CIFO Grant. Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation. Florida, United States.
- 2011: Best Show in a University Gallery in 2010: “Tania Bruguera: On the Political Imaginary.” AICA Awards. New York , United States.
- 2011: The Bronx Museum of the Art’s recognition. The Bronx Museum of the Arts. New York, United States.
- 2010: Biennial Competition Award. The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. New York, United States.
- 2009: Ordway Prize Finalist. Creative Link for the Arts / The New Museum. New York, United States. 1st Neuberger Prize. Neuberger Museum. New York, United States.
- 2008: Prince Claus Award. Prince Claus Fund. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
- 2007: European Commission for Descentralized Cooperation. European Union.
- 2005: Fundación Amistad Travel Grant Support. Fundación Amistad. New York, United States.
- 2002–2004: Cuban Arts Fund Grant. Cuban Arts Fund. New York, United States.
- 2001: MFA Graduate Fellowship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Illinois, United States.
- 2001: Odyssey Travel Grant. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago. Illinois, Chicago.
- 2000: Prince Claus Grant. Prince Claus Fund. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
- 1999: Merit Scholarship. The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Illinois, United States.
- 1998: Fellowship. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. New York, United States.
- Curriculum Vitae
- IUAV, Faculty of Arts & Design
- Reilly and Nochlin, Eds (2007). Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art. London and New York: Merrell. p. 270.
- University of Chicago, Department of Visual Arts
- Dolnick, Sam (May 18, 2011). "An Artist’s Performance: A Year as a Poor Immigrant". New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- "Artist Tania Bruguera and Others Detained in Havana [UPDATED]". fredlarson123.
- Bruguera, Tania. "The Burden of Guilt". Tania Bruguera. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Rubin, Edward. "Art in America Featured Installation by Cuban Artist at Neuberger Museum". Artes Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Reuters, Cuba accuses blogger of "provocation".
- The Miami Herald, Artist's work lets Cubans speak out in Havana for freedom
- La Repubblica, Cuba, blogger sul palco per un grido di libertà.
- La Jiribilla:, Declaración del Comité Organizador de la Décima Bienal de La Habana.
- "Tania Bruguera: Immigrant Movement International". Tate Modern. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- "Museum of Arte Útil".
- "Asociación de Arte Útil".
- Archibold, Randal C. (2015-01-01). "Cuba Again Arrests Artist Seeking Dissidents’ Release". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Artist Tania Bruguera Arrested Again in Havana, Injured by Police". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Tania Bruguera on her art, her detentions and what happens next". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Statement by the President on Cuba Policy Changes". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- York, Alan Yuhas in New. "Obama and Castro hail historic breakthrough for US-Cuba relations – as it happened". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Tatlin's Whisper #6 (Havana version)".
- "How Tania Bruguera’s Free Speech Performance Was Mishandled, and Misreported, in Cuba". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "On the detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, by Coco Fusco | e-flux". www.e-flux.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Tania Bruguera’s 2014 Whisper Performance – artnet News". artnet News. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Tania Bruguera’s Tatlin’s Whisper #6 and the Hannah Arendt International Institute for Artivism | Art Agenda". www.art-agenda.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- Hoby, Hermione (2015-10-13). "Tania Bruguera: the more the secret police torture me, the better my art gets". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Libertad a Tania Bruguera / Free Tania Bruguera". Google Docs. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- name, Site. "Cuban authorities return Tania Bruguera's passport but a further arrest and release ensues / Art Review". artreview.com. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Cuban Artist Tania Bruguera Speaks the Truth". W Magazine. 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "Institute of Artivism / Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2016-03-05.