For over 25 years Tani Bruguera has created socially-engaged performances and installations that examine the nature of political power structures and their effect on the lives of society's most vulnerable individuals and groups. Her research focuses on ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life—on the transformation of social affect into political effectiveness. Her long-term projects are intensive interventions on the institutional structure of collective memory, education and politics. Her works often expose the social effects of political forces and present global issues of power, migration, censorship and repression through participatory works that turn “viewers” into “citizens.”
By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it.
Awarded an Honoris Causa by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, selected one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, shortlisted for the #Index100 Freedom of Expression Award, a Herb Alpert Award winner, a Radcliffe and Yale World Fellow, and the first artist-in-residence in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.