Translation of Government Response to “Performance”

READERS PLEASE NOTE:  This is a translation of the article posted in La Jiribilla attacking the Performance of March 29th.  It is provided here for the convenience of English speaking readers.  IT IS NOT A PART OF YOANI’S BLOG.


Last Sunday March 29th 2009, in the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre, various people unrelated to the culture, headed by a professional ‘dissident’ created by the powerful media group PRISA made use of a performance by Tania Brugera to strike a blow at the Cuban Revolution. It was a case where individuals, in the service of the anti-Cuban propaganda machine, repeated worn-out claims of “freedom” and “democracy” demanded by their sponsors. They spoke – or rather acted – for the cameras and now several media outlets in Florida are turning it into big news.

The Organizing Committee of the Décima Bienal de La Habana considers this an act of anti-culturalism, of shameful opportunism offensive to Cuban artists and to outside artists who come to share their work with us as well as to support our solidarity and also to all of those who have worked so hard through difficult conditions to put together such an amazing event. It is also offensive to our people, who have exceeded the facilities and areas of the Bienal and enjoyed an intelligent avant-garde art that is critical and humanistic.

It is also particularly offensive that our public places and free events are used by those who are paid to manipulate public opinion, lie, censure, mutilate and systematically limit the freedom of speech and thought.

Tania Bruguera, who is know for her work with “El susurro de Tatlin”, that is currently showing in several European and US cities, and from her presentation in Havana, will share the stage in the Lam Centre with “Cuerpo ilicito”, from Mexican artist Guillermo Gómez Peña. It contrasts in a pitiful way the extraordinary anticolonial performance, in defense of the excluded and despised minorities, that Gómez Peña offered on Sunday night, with the spectacle led by a few searchers of fame and of easy money, without ideas or decorum.

This mediocre political take-over of an artistic work demonstrates the scorn that these people and those who sponsor them have for the culture. On the other hand, despite the fact that our institutions and artists are continually criticized as being of the same type of political machine they themselves are, we will continue to support the free and diverse creation of art and its availability to our people.

In spite of these provocations, la Bienal will keep on being a place of anti-hegemonic rebelliousness impregnated with heresy and authentic dissent that defined the success of the  Cuban Revolution for the artists of Cuba and for the world.

Signed: Comité Organizador de la Décima Bienal

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