Coco Fusco
Born in New York City, USA , in 1960.
She lives and works in New York City.

Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses gender- and race-related injustice, both in the United States and around the world. Because much of Fusco’s practice is informed by her Cuban–American heritage, issues surrounding immigration and international politics are at the fore of many of her performances and multimedia projects. In 1997, for instance, her Rites of Passage performance for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale was inspired by the restrictive passbooks required of black South Africans under apartheid law. Donning a security uniform, Fusco issued and stamped required passes to all Biennale visitors, who involuntarily reenacted one of apartheid’s cruelest means of control over the movement of people through public spaces.
With an MA degree in modern thought and literature from Stanford University (1985) and a PhD in art and visual culture from Middlesex University, London (2007), she has sustained a strong presence as a writer and educator alongside her artistic practice. Her book Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba (covering the 1980s to the present) is planned for publication in 2015.
Fusco’s current practice is rooted in Cuba’s political and cultural history. For the Biennale di Venezia, she has produced a film essay that centers on the infamous confession by Cuban poet Heberto Padilla in 1971 that he was a counterrevolutionary, a statement he delivered at the time of his arrest. Rather than a documentary or a reconstruction, The Confession (2015) is concerned with the legacy of this event and incorporates the archival documents that remain today: oral histories, partial testimonies, visual documents, and other fragments. Fusco’s film investigates how this moment was staged as a media spectacle by the Cuban state and how it has since been rewritten in the official Cuban history. The Confession frames Padilla’s action as a turning point in Cuba’s intellectual history, one that demonstrates the complex relationship between culture and politics at large.


  • Title: La confesión
  • Creator: Coco Fusco
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Rights: Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York, © 2015 Coco Fusco / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Medium: detail; digital video, b&w, color, sound (30’); dimensions variable

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