12.27.2014- The meeting today between artist Tania Bruguera, spokesperson for the #YoTambienExijo platform, and the President of the National Council of Arts (CNAP), Rubén del Valle, lasted over three hours. The #YoTambienExijo platform is calling for an artistic performance at the Revolution Square in Havana on Tuesday December 30th at 15 h.
Discussions about the feasibility of the realization of the performance occupied most of the time. Del Valle made it clear that the Council does not support the organization, promotion or legal procedures for carrying out the performance of the work “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6”. On the same token Del Valle, head of the cultural institution, then proceeded to warn the artist that she could face “legal and personal consequences,” in his own words quoted later by Bruguera.
Bruguera then affirmed: “the work will be performed. This work is a contribution to the necessary discussion of ideas in Cuban society, confirming that she will continue on carrying on with the necessary legal formalities on Monday December 29 at the Directorate General of the National Revolutionary Police, State entity responsible for granting permits. Del Valle’s forecasted that the permissions “would not be granted.”
The Chair of the CNAP pleaded with the artist not to go ahead with the planned performance on this occasion because in his opinion, “the action will negatively impact public opinion, at a moment that negotiations between the governments of Cuba and the United States to fully restore diplomatic and trade relations are at its initial stages. Del Valle then proposed to her a change of venues proposingries and schools for the future performance, on which the artist disagreed because the intention of her work is to give space to all the voices in the same open place, not inside an institution.
The meeting was also useful to exchange their different points of views on political art and the role of art in society. Bruguera defended her concept of “Specific Political Moment,” which could be translated as work done for a particular context and a political situation. “It was an honest and complex conversation at the same time, in which I defended my reasons for this is the right time to make the performance” said the artist.
The work will advocate for the right of citizens to free speech, respect the political and ideological diversity existing within Cuban society and taking ownership of their own destiny as a nation.
The meeting was also attended by Jorge Fernández, the Director of the Wilfredo Lam Center, where the artist performed the original and first version of “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” with open microphone, during the 10th edition of Annual Biennial of Havana 2009. Finally, both sides agreed to keep an open channel of communications between the Board and the Artist.