Head Down

Tania Bruguera 1996

This performance is inspired by the poem “Cabeza abajo” (“Head down”) by Carlos a. Alfonso. 

Bodies of artists, art critics, art history students, the audience, gallery owners, curators  -all Cuban- cover the floor. a character with her face painted white, so as to erase individual features, with a suit imitating lambskin and a banner on her back carried samurai style, walks on the bodies while tying their hands and feet and covering their eyes and mouths. Every time a person is gagged and tied, the character ties a strip on her body, as a memento. Then she puts a flag in the hands of the tied person, as if marking a conquered territory. The music heard throughout the performance is a compilation of songs and hymns from the Cuban Revolution.