“Visit to Valle Grande Prison.” Conversation between Tania Bruguera and El Sexto

7.03.2015 .
Havana, Cuba

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I asked El Sexto’s sister to let him know that I wanted to visit him. A few weeks later I received a call: “Tania, its Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, I put you on a list for the 21st at 12pm.” 

I didn’t go to see El Sexto so we could interchange aesthetic arguments but rather because I don’t agree that an artist should be imprisoned for a work they weren’t able to realize. 

I went because I think El Sexto has the right to wait for directions from his attorney and to litigate his case from outside of prison because (to use some of his own words) he hasn’t killed anyone. 

I went because I think political figures, as public figures, are subject to commentary, critiques, and base jokes from those who are subject to their power (in the case of Cuba you’d have to put half the country in jail if making jokes about its biggest leaders is contempt -Desacato-) 

I went because I think that an aesthetic argument can’t have more value than a gesture against something one finds unfair. 

I went because I think that everything that is done from within culture and art should have dialogue and public discussion as a response. 

Two days ago I talked to one of Kcho’s assistants to ask for an interview. I expect to speak to him about El Sexto since he is the one who represents visual artists at the National Assembly of People’s Power. 

. LONG VERSION:https://soundcloud.com/yotambienexijo/bruguera-elsexto-larga
. SHORT VERSION: https://soundcloud.com/yotambienexijo/bruguera-elsexto-breve

Technical Clarification: The recording and latter publicity of this material was authorized by El Sexto. There were two edited versions, one five minutes long centered on his work and another ten minutes and twenty nine seconds long that adds a few experiences about the prison in which he is found. The editing was realized with the sole objective of organizing information and making audible the original material, which wasn’t available in good quality. 

Special thanks to Lia Villares and Gorky Áquila.