Cuban activist, artist, and frequent detainee Tania Bruguera describes the importance of using art to destabilize systems of power.
“It’s extremely complicated [in Cuba] but that’s why, more than ever, artists should be working there.… I like the idea that art can create a different order of things so people can think differently about what’s happening.”
Tania Bruguera is a performance artist who prefers the term “initiator.” Born in Havana, Cuba in 1968, Bruguera attended the Instituto Superior de Arte art school from 1987-1992. She then moved to Chicago where she earned a Master in Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. Since then Bruguera has taught at The University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she is the founder/director of Catédra Arte de Conducta, a performance art school located in Cuba. She received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship (1998), and has been awarded residencies at Skowhegan (2002); Headlands Centers for the Arts (1998); Fundación Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Maracay (1998); Art in General (1997); and ART/OMI (1995). Major exhibitions of her work have appeared at the Van Abbemuseum (2014); Queens Museum (2013); National Museum Wales (2012); Havana Biennial (2010, 2003, 2000); Neuberger Museum of Art (2010); Venice Biennale (2009, 2001); Tate Modern (2008); Moscow Biennial (2007); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2006); Shanghai Biennial (2004); Istanbul Biennial (2003); Documenta (2002); San Francisco Art Institute (2002); SITE Santa Fe Biennial (1999) and the São Paulo Bienal (1996). Tania Bruguera lives and work between New York City and Havana.