Homenage a Ana Mendieta
Tania Bruguera (*1968, Cuba, USA) is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist working internationally with such media as performance and installation art. Her political art both reflects and discusses her personal and national background – Bruguera was born and grew up in Cuba – by exploring matters of power, discipline, violence, exile and migration. She understands “art as an agent for social change” and proposes that it has “to be completely linked with life – and not a fiction or a virtual reality, but as alive as possible. My art has to have a real function for myself, to heal my problems, or to help other people to reflect and improve.” Interested in influencing rather than representing socio-political contexts, Bruguera has created long-term interventions such as Cátedra Arte de Conducta (Behavior Art School) – a school she founded in Havana with the pedagogical and artistic purpose of improving “the relationship between performative arts and politics and its implementation in society” – and the Immigrant Movement International, the formation and development of a political party.
The project Homenage a Ana Mendieta (Tribute to Ana Mendieta) started as Bruguera’s thesis at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. For 10 years she re-enacted artworks and projects by Ana Mendieta, including her signature Silueta Series, opposing official policies aimed at erasing the cultural contributions of Cuban expatriates. The Silueta Series (1973-1980) is a group of works in which Mendieta – exiled from Cuba at the age of 13 – placed her naked body or marked her female silhouette (using different organic materials such as rocks, sand and flowers) in varied landscapes. EF
Photography: Gonzalo Vidal Alvarado
Courtesy Gonzalo Vidal & Studio Bruguera