Tania Bruguera

Untitled (Havana, 2000)

Feb 3–Mar 11, 2018


  • MoMA, Floor 2, Contemporary Galleries Contemporary Galleries

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Artist and activist Tania Bruguera (Cuban, born 1968) investigates the impact of state power in her installation Untitled (Havana, 2000). Initially conceived for the 7th Havana Biennial in 2000, the work was first presented in the Cabaña Fortress, a military bunker used as a jail for prisoners of conscience during the Cuban Revolution. From colonial times through the early years of the Revolution, the counterrevolutionary opposition was tortured and executed by firing squad at the Fortress. Combining milled sugarcane, video footage of Fidel Castro, and live performance presented in near-total darkness, Untitled (Havana, 2000) evokes the contradictions of life in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. The work, which was on view for mere hours in Havana before being shut down by the Cuban government, embodies Bruguera’s complex relationship to authority.

This exhibition of Untitled (Havana, 2000) marks the first time this powerful piece has been presented since its recent acquisition by MoMA, and looks back to a pivotal point in Bruguera's career, as she moved from working primarily with her own body to working with the collective social body. Bruguera refers to her work from this period as Arte de Conducta, or “behavior art”—a practice aimed at “not representing the political but provoking the political.” Through constructed situations, she explores the formation of collective memory and the way that the political is registered within the body itself.

Please note:
This exhibition includes nude live performers, uneven footing, limited visibility, and fragrance. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Wearing high heels in the exhibition is discouraged and bare feet are not permitted. Photography, video, and any use of cellphones or other light sources are strictly prohibited.

Visitors who use mobility-assistive devices should ask Visitor Engagement staff for assistance in entering the exhibition. Visitors who are blind or have low vision can ask Visitor Engagement staff about scheduling a verbal description guide.

Performed at MoMA by Ian Deleón, Rudy Gerson, Jonathan Gonzalez, Ernesto Manuel López, Kyle Lopez, Micki Pellerano, Victor Rivera, Alexis Ruiseco-Lombera, and Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez.

Organized by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, with Martha Joseph, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, and produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Performance Producer, with Kate Scherer, Assistant Performance Coordinator.

The exhibition is made possible by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions.

Major support is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

Special thanks to Air Water & Earth and to International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.

MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.


Installation images

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