The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Russell Lecture: Tania Bruguera

When: February 27, 7:00pm
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), La Jolla

The department teams up with MCASD to bring internationally acclaimed artist, Tania Bruguera, to San Diego. Bruguera is a Cuban artists whose performances, events, installations and social interventions blur the line between life and art.

The 2013 Russell Lecturer is internationally acclaimed artist Tania Bruguera. Bruguera, whom the New York Times calls an “art world darling,” is best known for her often aggressive performances and installations that aim to disrupt ordinary ways of reacting to specific situations. The Cuban-born American artist is a graduate of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and has held professorships at the University of Chicago and the University IUAV, Venice, Italy. She founded the Catedra de Arte de Conducta (School of the Art of Behavior) as an artist-led artwork/school that offers alternative training to art students in Cuba. Bruguera has created works for Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, Sao Paolo Biennial, Shanghai, and Site Santa Fe, among others.

Her performances, events, installations, and social interventions blur the line between life and art, reflecting on dynamics of power and the politics of our current social structures. For Tatlin’s Whisper #5 (2008) at London’s Tate Modern, Bruguera enlisted two uniformed policemen mounted on horseback who marshaled the gathered audience around the gallery space using techniques developed to control rioting crowds. Bruguera was exposing behavioral responses in the obedient audience: respect for men in uniform, fear of animals, and passive subjection before an artwork and a performer. In a 2010 New York Times’ article, writer Benjamin Genocchio said “Ms. Bruguera makes the kind of work that art curators and critics like – it is conceptual in orientation, theatrical in presentation and has a smattering of sociopolitical relevance.”

For many years, MCASD and UCSD have partnered to bring contemporary artists to the city through the annual Russell Lecture program. The Russell Foundation was established in the will of Betty Russell, one of MCASD’s founding docents and a long-time supporter of UCSD. She specified that funds from the foundation should help “foster the appreciation and study of the modern visual arts and creativity of young artists” through support to the Museum and the University. Past Russell Lecture speakers have included Nancy Rubins (2006), Robert Irwin (2008), Sophia Calle (2009), and Isaac Julien (2011).

In addition to this public lecture, Bruguera will have a chance to meet and interact with students in UCSD’s Visual Arts Department as part of the Russell Foundation program.

Tickets are now on sale at all MCASD front desks during regular gallery hours and one hour before the evening’s lecture at the Box Office. Tickets can also be purchased at Tickets are available at a limited capacity and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Russell Lecture is free for MCASD Members and UCSD faculty, students, and staff. Tickets are $15 for general admission, and $5 for seniors and non-UCSD students.

For more information about this event click here.

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