Tania Bruguera: Cuban Artist Freed After Three Consecutive Detentions

Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera has been freed from detention by Cuban authorities after the artist was detained three consecutive times. Tania was first detained on December 30 after trying to stage a performance piece in Havana’s Revolution Square.

The Los Angeles Times reported after Tania was released from her second detention by authorities. Bruguera attempted to conduct a press conference at 4 p.m. on December 31 in Havana’s seaside thoroughfare, Malecon, when Bruguera was detained for a third and final time. Tania will be required to stay in Cuba for the next two or three months as Cuban officials have charged her with “resistance and disrupting the public order.”

Tania was detained originally for trying to stage a recreation of her piece “Tatlin’s Whisper #6,” which uses an open microphone that people could use for one minute to say whatever was on their mind. Bruguera staged the work previously in 2009 at the 10th Havana Biennial with no incidents.

Tania’s sister, Deborah, provided updates on the artist to the LA Times. Deborah is based in Italy but keeps in touch with family like Bruguera and friends in Cuba.

“[Tania] had gone to my mother’s house — and that’s where I spoke to her, immediately after she’d been released. Then, as she left my mother’s building, there were two policemen downstairs waiting for her. Soon after, an official goes to see my mother to tell her that Tania is fine and that they are simply chatting. It was the same as the first time: They’re chatting. Since then, no one has seen her. It’s been several hours.”

Reuters also reports that the art community is deeply troubled by the reaction to Tania’s performance work and attempt to hold a press conference. More than a thousand artists worldwide reacted to her first detainment by creating and signing an open letter to Cuban President Raul Castro calling for Bruguera’s release. The artists wrote that they were “profoundly troubled” by Tania’s detainment and toward the Cuban government’s reaction that these artists are being paid by the U.S.

“We firmly believe her detention, and withdrawal of her Cuban passport, are inappropriate responses to a work of art that simply sought to open space for public discussion.”

Before the incident, Tania took to Twitter and announced that she was participating in a movement with Yo Tambien Exijo, which seeks to promote the restoration of certain political and civil rights in Cuba.

Tania was inspired to create the performance piece after the recent political thaw between Cuba and the U.S. The Inquisitr covered the detente. President Obama has suggested a cooling of the embargo between the two countries. However, Congress seems less enthusiastic about lifting the embargo. Companies and tourists seeking to benefit from relaxed relations between Cuba and the U.S. will have to wait for an official change to American policy.

[Photo Source: LA Times]