NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
presents a major performance installation by Tania Bruguera (Cuban, born 1968), Untitled (Havana, 2000), for the first time since acquiring it in 2015, from February 3 through March 11, 2018. Initially conceived for the 7th Havana Biennial, the work was first presented in the Cabaña Fortress, a military bunker used as a jail for prisoners of conscience during the Cuban Revolution. The Fortress was used from colonial times through the early years of the Revolution as a site where the counter-revolutionary opposition was submitted to torture and execution by firing squad. Combining milled sugarcane, video footage of Fidel Castro, and live performance presented in near-total darkness, the work suggests the contradictions of life following the Cuban Revolution. The work, which was on view for mere hours before being shut down by the Cuban government in 2000, signifies Brugueras complex relationship to authority. Tania Bruguera: Untitled (Havana, 2000) is organized by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, with Martha Joseph, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, and performances produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Performance Producer, with Kate Scherer, Assistant Performance Coordinator.
While Brugueras most recent work often uses the strategies of social movements and education platforms to address topical matters, this exhibition looks back to Untitled (Havana, 2000) as a crucial work at the turn of the millennium that symbolizes an important shift in Brugueras oeuvre, as she moved from working primarily with her own body to considering active audience engagement. Bruguera refers to her work from this period as Arte de Conducta or behavior arta practice aimed at not representing the political but provoking the political. Through constructed situations, she addresses collective memory and the social body as a performative body.
This exhibition is part of Citizens and Borders, a series of discrete projects at MoMA related to works in the collection that offer a critical perspective on histories of migration, territory, and displacement. Additionally, the exhibition will run concurrently with Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil, highlighting the influential artistic production of two maverick Latin American women.