Tania Bruguera Harnesses the Power of Social Media for Performa’s First Digital Commission

Participants can use the #instacitizen hashtag.

Tania Bruguera at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Photo James Duncan Davidson.
Tania Bruguera. Photo: Instagram/@katyhamer

Tania Bruguera.
Photo: Instagram/@katyhamer.

Tonight, Performa 15 goes digital, with its first digital commission, from Cuban artist Tania Bruguera. The newly-announced project, titled InstaCitizen, will take place at Performa’s 47 Walker Street Hub on Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Known for her socially-engaged performance art, Bruguera made headlines this year when she was arrested in the Cuban capital for re-staging Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (Havana Version), a politically-charged performance piece created for the 2009 Havana Biennial. After several incidents and arrests, Bruguera was eventually released and returned to the US.

The artist Tania BrugueraPhoto: Tom Martin via Wales News Service

The artist Tania Bruguera.
Photo: Tom Martin via Wales News Service.

Bruguera is the first participant in the artist-in-residence program for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in New York. The artist was also shortlisted for the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum.

During Performa, Bruguera will use Instagram and Twitter to promote the #instacitizen hashtag among her followers, in an effort encourage them to become online activists.

Participants are encouraged to share incidents in which they felt compelled to censor themselves with regard to gender, ethnicity, immigration status, or race. The artist is requesting that responses be tagged with her Instagram handle, @TaniaBruguera, to better create a dialogue among all participants.

Tania Bruguera at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: James Duncan Davidson, via Flickr.

Tania Bruguera at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Photo: James Duncan Davidson, via Flickr.

Bruguera will also be giving our her Instagram password during the event, allowing others to share their own personal experiences through her account, transforming her into a larger mouthpiece for the people.

The 22-day event kicked off with a Renaissance-inspired dance production from Francesco Vezzoli and David Hallberg, one of a number of specially commissioned works for Performa. Though the biennial is winding down, several highlights, such as Oscar Murillo‘s Lucky Dip, and Laura Lima’s Gala Chickens and Ball, are still to come.

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