Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power/Hablándole al Poder

16.06.2017 – 29.10.2017 / 11:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m. Tue-Wed-Fri-Sat-Sun / 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Thu
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
94103 San Francisco CA

Survey Exhibition

Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder

Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder is a survey exhibition that presents all of Bruguera’s long-term, socially engaged art projects to date. As part of the exhibition, the artist will also open a school in YBCA’s galleries. The Escuela de Arte Útil will convene weekly classes, taught by Bruguera and other prominent artist-educators, on topics such as systems of power and creative dissent. A cohort of YBCA Fellows will serve as the primary pupils, but members of the public are welcome to attend classes on a drop-in basis.

Bruguera works at the intersection of activism and performance art to address structures of power, devise new utopian models of authority, and create alternative structures that aim to transform and redistribute power. This has resulted in long-term art projects that take the form of social movements, newspapers, and schools—and even Bruguera’s own provocative self-nomination for the 2018 Cuban presidential election, a gesture meant to invite others to do the same. Time and again, she proves that systems of power can be reimagined, changed, and made more inclusive and democratic.

Escuela de Arte Útil

As part of the exhibition, YBCA and Tania Bruguera will open a fully functioning school inside of the galleries.

Classes will be held Tuesday–Thursday from 4–8PM, and students will learn about the creation of “useful art” from some of the world’s most influential practitioners. The primary pupils of the school will be a new cohort of YBCA Fellows who are working under Bruguera’s direction. Gallery visitors and the public are always welcome to join classes on a drop-in basis. See the most recent class schedule below.

Whether through self-organized groups, individual initiatives, or the rise of user-generated content, people are developing new methods and social formations to deal with issues that were once the domain of the state. These initiatives are not isolated incidents, but also part of an art history that has been neglected, yet shapes our contemporary world. This class will focus on the concept of Arte Útil, which roughly translates into English as “useful art,” while also suggesting that art can be a tool or device. Studying the shifting role of contemporary art, the class will consider factors of the practice of Arte Útil such as institutional self-criticism, active hyperrealism, a-legality, reforming capital, beneficial outcomes, sustainability, intersection with other disciplines, and modes of creative collaboration. We will have weekly guest lectures and case study presentations, as well as access to ongoing Arte Útil projects in the Bay Area.