Immigrant Art in Action

Pase Usted
November 2011

From: Pase Usted. “Arte Inmigrante en Acción. El Arte como solución”, Chilango, Sección Ciudad, Nro. 96. November 11. New York, Estados Unidos.

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Immigrant Art in Action

Pase Usted

What do a Muslim, a Mexican, a Vietnamese, and a Puerto Rican have in common?  Seperately, practically nothing, but together, more than what you would expect, especially if they are all exiled.  Precisely what it is that unites people in exile is what artist Tania Bruguera is questioning in her Immigrant Movement International.

Bruguera, one of the leading performance artists of her generation, has investigated how art can activate political action in daily life throughout her entire trajectory.  In this case, her project consists of long-term actions that will be initiated with her own migration to the Corona neighborhood of Queens.  In this neighborhood, the most ethnically diverse of all New York (with more than 138 different languages), the artist will be in charge of devising actions that represent the average and ordinary “world citizen.”

Actively involving herself with civil associations, communities at risk, as well as local artists and politicians whose work revolves around migration, Tania Bruguera will explore two basic questions: Who is defined as an immigrant? And, What values do they share?

Throughout all of these actions Tania Bruguera will not only explore the relationship between immigrants, but rather in a macro context, she will activate the question: Can art be socially useful and generate practical solutions to common problems?

This project was presented last April 23rd at a conference where Pase Usted, curators in the area of Queens, visual artists, and creative agents in the New York vicinity participated.  At this panel a discussion about the possibilities of socially useful art emerged.

More than the geographically specifically work by Bruguera in Queens, her labor and its possible results can be fundamental in the long term as a model for real creative solutions to urban problems.  Departing from the artist’s investigation, not only can New Yorker’s community problems be combated but it can also generate solutions for zones of intensive migration, as in the case of Mexico and its metropolis.

– Translated for the website

by Lissette Olivares