14ymedio, Havana, 4 September 2015 — “When politics meets art the aesthetic defines its relevance, when art meets politics ethics can not be avoided.” So begins the announcement for Tania Bruguera’s presentation this coming September 15 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie (New York).
Entitled ‘AEST-ethics’: Art with Consequences, it is the first public event featuring the artist outside of Cuba since her recent forced stay in that country, and is part of the Antonio Márquez Lecture Series organized by the university on the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Political art is art that has consequences. The ethics, the conduct and the specific political moment are some of the materials that are spokesperson uses today to create an art that works politically,” reads the statement.
Bruguera is currently engaged in an year-long artist-in-residence engagement in New York and is helping that city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs recruit undocumented immigrants for the idNYC Program, which aims to provide identification cards to all residents of the Big Apple.
The artist finally obtained her passport on 11 July, after being detained by the Cuban government last December, when he was arrested before making a performance of political art in Havana, and has since suffered several clashes with State Security. On June 8 the artist was detained along with 47 Ladies in White at the exit of Santa Rita Church in the Havana municipality of Playa.
A few weeks earlier, during the activities of the Havana Biennial, Bruguera decided to pay tribute to Hannah Arendt with more than 100 consecutive hours of reading, analysis and discussion of the book The Origins of Totalitarianism. The event was hijacked by successive incidents police pressure, a noisy street repair outside the home of the artist, and the subsequent arrest of her and several companions.