Looking for a Place

Rosa Martínez

From: Martínez, Rosa. “Looking for a place,” SITE Santa Fe’s Third International Biennial. Curated by Rosa Martínez.

ISBN 09650583954

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Looking for a place

by Rosa Martínez

The ongoing political and ideological suppression in Cuba and its repercussions on the human spirit that incluye the loss of identity, the intense pain of isolation, and appression, are powerfully evoked through Tania Bruguera’s haunting performances.  Her art bespeaks a personal history of displacement, exile, and feminist issues interwoven throughout her crossdisciplinary art form.

In The Burden of Guilt, Bruguera uses the lamb, a universal symbol of sacrifice and obedient, as well as her own body to explore submission as a refuge, a means of survival.  Bruguera performs with the severed head of a lamb clutched to her Cheste or a carcass attached to her body, intermittently washing her hands in a bowl of its fat.  Her ritualistic and thytmic movements imply prayer and supplication as they simultaneously suggest Liberation.  This solution, however, is imbuid with guilt and burden resulting from passive complacency and torced complicity, Bruguera unmasks fear, trascending complex dichotomies of acceptance and defiance, myth and reality, hope and despair.