If you’ve ever had the burning desire to Skype Tania Bruguera about a new project you’re working on, or blame Tania Bruguera for something you’ve done, or have Tania Bruguera pass along a message to somebody in Cuba, now’s your chance: the Cuban performance artist is teaming with Kickstarter to offer a series of tiered rewards for those who donate money to fund the Hannah Arendt International Institute for Art Activism campus that she’s opened in Havana.
“At this moment, what we need for a peaceful transition in Cuba is a civic literacy campaign and a sustainable space for mutual trust,” Bruguera said in a statement provided to ARTnews.
While the effort is ostensibly to fund the institute, it also seems to be a semi-performance, or at least an extension of her practice. The rewards sound right up her alley. Perhaps you were very angry about one of the times Bruguera was detained by the Cuban government—for $250, you can arrange for Bruguera to relay a message of your choice to her interrogators next time she’s seized. Perhaps you want to take a trip to Havana and want a art-minded tour guide—for $10,000, Tania will take you around to all her favorite little-known parts of the city and put you up at the institute. Perhaps you want Bruguera to come over and tell you one of her deepest, darkest secrets—for $1,000, she’ll meet up with you and confess.
“Over the past several decades, Tania has pioneered work that explicitly engages the public with the power of art to inspire social change—we’re grateful to help bring her institute to life,” said Victoria Rogers, who handles Kickstarter’s art world projects.
It’s been quite the year for Bruguera. In the course of a few months last summer, she returned to the U.S. after an eight-month-long detainment, had one of her performances acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, and was named the first artist in residence for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Another bit of news from the announcement: the first resident at the institute will be a group of artists that also knows a thing or two about being detained by the government: Pussy Riot. If you have $10,000, you can be down there in no time.