From: Grosenick, Utah. “Tania Bruguera,” Art Now, Vol II. Ed. Taschen. Taschen 25th anniversary ed edition. November 30, 2005. (illust.) pp. 80 – 83.
Extreme physical experiences characterize Tania Bruguera’s work – experiences that she exposes herself to in her performances but increasingly exposes her viewers to as well. In her early performances, which were often inspired by archaic rituals and cults, she made her body her means of expression and the bearer of historical and political burdens. Recently she was created situations in which the viewer can understand the effects of observation and oppression first-hand. Thus upon entering the installation she contributed to documenta 11, “Untitled” (2002), visitors were exposed to a short, glaring flash of light, which regularly followed a sound sequence of the tramping of feet and the battle of guns. Bruguera allows force as an expression of political power and oppression to be physically experienced by the individual. The emphasis of her work lies on the history of her native country Cuba, whereby she covers the entire time span from its colonial period right up to the present-day revolution as it really exists. IN “Autobiografia” (2003), for example, the observer can experience the effects of being permanently bombarded by political propaganda. In this sound installation a microphone invites you to send your own message out into the exhibition room. These messages, however are constantly interrupted and drowned out by quotations from speeches by Fidel Castro – the individual is silenced. For her work “Poetic Justice (2002/03)” Bruguera covered the walls of a narrow passageway with hundreds of thousands of used tea bags – a tangible metaphor for the circulation and alienation of goods and culture as a consequence of colonization and world trade.