I'm beginning to post stuff from the blogosphere. Here a paragraph from Art World Salon:
I find Pablo Helguera's piece on the Havana Biennial pretty on target. It's not easy to talk about the Cuban issue without sounding either naive or didactic (or both). Tania Bruguera's performance attracted a lot of attention: A week after the event, the Biennial Organizing Committee published this note on La Jiribilla, a popular Cuban Website:
On Sunday March 29 at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, several people outside the cultural sphere, led by a professional "dissident" made by the powerful media group PRISA,1 took advantage of the performance by artist Tania Bruguera for a provocation against the Cuban Revolution. These individuals, at the service of an anti-Cuban propaganda machine, repeated the worn-out claim of "freedom" and "democracy" as required by their sponsors. They talked or rather acted for the cameras, and the incident became today big news in the Florida media.2
The "dissident" above is Yoani Sánchez, an internationally-known Cuban blogger who runs Generación Y. The trepidation of the organizers over this section of Bruguera's performance goes to show the wackiness of Cuban institutional politics. What did the conceptual artist think of the performance? When Fabiola Santiago, an art critic from The Miami Herald, interviewed Bruguera over the phone from Miami, she declared: "I'm an artist who tries the impossible. This is my job and that's how I live my life."
1The reference to PRISA would automatically imply that Ms. Sánchez is acting as a foreign agent. Sanchez's independent journalism has provoked strong responses from the Cuban authorities.2 It gets better: Bruguera's performance is entitled Tatlin, which brings to mind Lissitzky's Rednertribune. According to the Constructivists, if art was to have any meaning at all, "it had to stir the people." Tatlin (the artist) would have been proud of the outcome of Bruguera's Tatlin. Maybe art is more than just an feeble apology for empty beauty-talk.