Tania Bruguera

UNNAMED

By Biennale of Sydney

22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

About the artist

Tania Bruguera
Born 1968 in Havana, Cuba
Lives and works in Havana, Cuba and New York, USA

Tania Bruguera is an artist and activist whose performances and installations examine political power structures and their effect on society's most vulnerable people. Her long-term projects have been intensive interventions into the institutional structure of collective memory, education and politics.

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

UNNAMED

Bruguera’s UNNAMED is a series of participatory performances where participants choose the name of a person murdered or assassinated for their actions protecting the environment.

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

Local tattooist Lu, whose practice focuses on botanical interests, will tattoo participants with an inkless needle. This invisible tattoo, like the people who have been murdered, disappears from the skin after a short time.

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

When Tattooist Lu is not marking someone’s body with a name, cards can be read which hold the stories and names of each murdered person. 

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

By marking the name of an individual killed through resource-related violence onto the body of another, the act of memorialisation becomes an intimate, person to person act, that seeks to personalise the ‘data’ that records this loss: approximately 751 people killed between 2015 and 2018, for actions interfering in state and company activities causing devastation to local environments. 

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

The tattoo serves as a way to embody and remember the lives of these people. 

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

The human cost as part of this on-going genococide is rarely acknowledged or openly discussed. UNNAMED is a means of marking each life individually and of viscerally registering this loss. 

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

In UNNAMED, participants have a selected name inscribed onto their bodies to personalise the data and to contrast the magnitude of these issues with the individual solitary reaction to them; you are only one person, only one member of the public, only human.

UNNAMED Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

"The time has finally arrived for those who have been marginalised to take centre stage." 

- Tania Bruguera

Explore more in the NIRIN Virtual Tour of Cockatoo Island.

Credits: Story

UNNAMED, 2020 
mixed-media performance installation 
Originally commissioned by Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA for presentation at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney 
Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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