Tania Bruguera returns to Portugal with her powerful artistic activism, confronting in this creating gesture “the role of emotions in politics”. Her main concerns are institutional power, borders and migration. Art isn’t a neutral action for Bruguera – it allows and invites social and political changes that are sometimes radical. Bruguera denominates this approach as Useful Art, in which the audience is involved as an active participant instead of being mere spectators.

After creating her first stage piece in BoCA 2017, “Endgame”, the artist returns to Portugal for a new creation: the “Narciso” installation, exhibiting her work for the first time in Lisbon. Following her recent investigation in the Tate Modern (London), “Narciso” evokes the migration and refugee crisis. Through the eye of Bruguera, this movement gains an expression of individual crisis centered in the body and the identity of each spectator: “A person will sit on a sculpture and will observe their face in the water. When they get near the water to see themselves, the reflection found will not be theirs but that of an immigrant person”, writes Tania Bruguera.

For this creation, Tania was inspired by a question raised by Alain Badiou in the prologue to “The Agony of Eros” of philosopher Byung-Chul Han: “Is it absolutely certain that the only way to oppose a consumerist and contractual conception of alterity is to abolish the self, on a sublime and all-but-impossible scale, in order to encounter the Other?”. In the same book, Byung-Chul Han reaffirms that for human thought to exist “one must have been a friend, a lover” or that, in a way, has given themselves to the other.

Production BoCA
Co-production Galerias Municipais EGEAC, Estudio Bruguera

With the participation of Larisa Tovmasyan, Omid Bahrami, Phylemon Mulanda
Thanks to RefugiActo
Photography Miguel Canaverde
Camera Pedro Mourinha
Production support Tworlds Productions, Waves of Youth
Programmation MILL – Makers In Little Lisbon
Construction OXYD

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