Tania Bruguera : ‘Untitled’ (Havana, 2000)

Tania Bruguera : Untitled (Havana, 2000) is a performance art installation originally performed by the Cuban artist in Havana, Cuba in 2000.

Tania Bruguera

The Cuban-born artist (1968) produces work that questions authority.

The Original Tania Bruguera : Untitled (Havana, 2000)

The piece was originally presented in the basements of El Castillo de la Cabaña, the colonial fortress that guards the entrance to Havana Harbor, just across the bay from the old city.

The lower levels of La Cabaña had been used since colonial times to jail, torture, and murder political prisoners. The Argentine Che Guevara used the fort as a military prison during the Cuban Revolution in 1959. A lot of people died horrible deaths there.

The Cuban government shut down Bruguera’s performance after just a few hours. You may remember reading about it in the news back in 2000.

Tania Bruguera : Untitled (Havana, 2000) at MoMA

MoMA curators considered the piece an important work because it marked a shift in Bruguera’s practice from “working primarily with her own body to considering active audience engagement.”

“We have to stop looking, and start thinking.”
~ Tania Bruguera, Cuban artist

This is the existential question for all of us in the art world, actually for all Americans. The Trump / Republican mess is a mess of our own creation. We voted for this.

All powers meddle in the politics of other countries. It just so happens that we the American people have been foolish enough to be manipulated by hate-mongering of all stripes.

Not we have allowed ourselves to be baited into a childish shouting match. We are fighting over fake problems. Meanwhile, our real problems worsen, and our behavior leans towards the bullying and violence for which we so criticize the Castro regime. Are you proud that our country is increasingly behaving like a dictatorship and an oligarchy? I am not.

Congratulations to the team who acquired Untitled (Havana, 2000) in 2015, before all of this mess erupted into the public consciousness. Artists are ahead of the general public because we are more open to the collective unconscious that unites us all.

The current installation 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.

Tania Bruguera : Untitled (Havana, 2000) is on view at the Museum of Modern Art, Floor Two, Collection Galleries, daily from February 3 – March 11, 2018.

For more information, visit www.moma.org


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