Tania Bruguera is a Cuban, politically motivated performance artist that explores the relationship between art, activism, and social change in works that examine the social effects of political and economic power. By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it.
Tania’s work has explored both the promise and failings of the Cuban Revolution in performances that provoke viewers to consider the political realities masked by government propaganda and mass-media interpretation. In 2014, she was detained and had her passport confiscated by the Cuban government for attempting to stage a performance of free speech in Havana’s Revolution Square. She had planned to set up a microphone and invite people to express their visions for Cuba.
More recently, in 2015, Tania spoke at Frieze Art Fair in London, about her politically motivated practice, and her belief that if it is to be political, art must have consequences. This was her first UK talk having been detained in Cuba for eight months.
Arts Catalyst's Centre for Art, Science and Technology will launch in January 2016 with a presentation of Arte Util, a project initiated by Tania. Arte Util translates as useful art; art as a benefit and a tool.