New Art from Cuba

Antonio Eligio (Tonel)
February 1995

From: Eligio (Tonel), Antonio. “Tania Bruguera,” New Art from Cuba (Brochure), Ed. Whitechapel, Art Gallery, London, England, 1995.

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Tania Bruguera

by Antonio Eligio (Tonel)

Tania Bruguera´s work should be understood as an open-ended activity; a platform from which to explore a wide range of possibilities, rather than an attempt to build an apparently coherent body of work. She sets out to examine possible links between apparently unrelated problems: emigration, a sense of physical and spiritual displacement and problems of communication, compounded by social conditioning and misinformation.

This activity is characterized by a fascination for all that is forced out of the mainstream and into the margins, and is echoed in the artistic methods she employs: the conceptual; worked forget through social participation, performance and the use of her own body. In return to the ‘idea as art’, and to physical and ephemeral ‘actions’.

Her fascination with the marginal can also be seen in the subject matter of her work. (…) For a recent work she produced an ambiguous newspaper. Memoria de la Postguerra is a clear reminder that ‘information is power’. It tries to facilitate the unofficial circulation of ideas, addressing matters rarely debated in public from an alternative viewpoint to that of the powerful official press. As an artwork it enters the realm of the ‘hyper-real’ – a cracked and imperfect vision of the smooth, bland mirror held up by the press -. (…) As a newspaper it is a determinedly utopian project, conceived at the margins but designed to infiltrate the centre -an action or gesture that is eloquent in its ultimate frustration.