Tania Bruguera (1968 - )

De la serie 'entreacto' (1994)
From the Series 'Interval'

Screen print on paper
height: 50cm
width: 70cm

Donated by Tania Bruguera 1995


The Entreacto series was produced at the height of the era known as the 'special period', in which Cubans experienced harsh economic conditions largely as a result of the fall of the Soviet Bloc. Bruguera was an essential part of the process by which young contemporary artists, who had been raised completely within the Cuban Revolution, critically assessed the economic, social and political crises of those years through visual art. In her artwork and through her underground newspaper project Memoria de la postguerra (Memory of the Postwar Era), Bruguera addressed the mass exodus of artists from Cuba during those years and the local/global dialectic that was increasingly preoccupying contemporary artists on the island and beyond.

The three-dimensional image of a heart can refer literally to the artist's heart, as in her performance pieces that deal viscerally with her own body and with animal carcasses. The lone heart, stripped from the body, may also be seen as a reference to the artist's sense of isolation and loneliness as many of those closest to her went into exile in those years, and to Cuba's struggle for survival after having lost its circulatory system, the economic support of the Soviet Union.

Silkscreen printing has a long history in Cuba, beginning with its use in the early 1900s for printing commercial broadsides and later Hollywood film posters. In revolutionary Cuba, silkscreen presses were used by designers of posters for films made and distributed by the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos, and for a multitude of cultural events in and beyond Havana. It was also a medium favoured by modern Cuban artists such as René Portocarrero; contemporary Cuban artists such as Bruguera continue to produce silkscreen prints at the Taller de Serigrafía Portocarrero (Portocarrero Silkscreening Workshop) today.

Jennifer Josten, 2008

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