Tania founded the Migrant People Party (MPP) in 2006, aiming to create a new form of political organization, and then created the Immigrant Movement International as a long-term art project in the form of a socio-political movement. For the work, the artist spent a year operating a flexible community space in Queens, New York, engaging with local and international communities as well as working with social service organizations, elected officials, and artists focused on immigration reform. Public workshops, events, actions, and partnerships encouraged immigrants to consider the values that they shared and to foster ties within the community. This was politics as art, on the ground, changing lives.
Bruguera also created an institute in Cuba with the aim of fostering civic literacy and advocating policy change. Calling itself a “wish tank,” the institute uses public actions and performances with “cubanos de a pie” (everyday Cubans): from housewives to professionals, from activists to students. “It is about creating bridges of trust where there is no fear of each other, to create a peaceful and considered response where there is violence, to create a place where people from different political views can come together,” she said in a description of the work.
Bruguera’s candidacy is both a culmination of her life’s work as an artist, and a perhaps unintentional homage to the ambitions of the APG, which positioned the artist as an Incidental Person within existing social and political structures to effect change. Tania is among those artists applying the lessons taught by artists such as John Latham to the present moment.
—Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist is the Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. He would like to thank Melissa Blanchflower, Stefano Boeri, Joseph Constable, Ben Eastham, Amira Gad, Laura Norman, Laura Macfarlane, Yana Peel, Max Shackleton, Nato Thompson, and Alexandra Wilk.