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Students to Work One-on-One with Artist Tania Bruguera in “Art Util” Workshop

Meadows Prize winner to explore art in social and political spheres; students to create new works alongside provocative international artist

Students from six different divisions at Meadows School of the Arts – advertising, art, art history, dance, film and theatre – have been selected to participate in a two-week “art útil” (useful art) workshop led by artist and 2013 Meadows Prize winner Tania Bruguera, April 8-19.

The workshop will focus on art in relation to social issues, politics, activism and performance. All students will create a work of art and will contribute to a new public art commission for SMU, to be completed in fall 2013.

Bruguera is known for controversial works intended to provoke thought, dialogue and action regarding social/political issues such as immigration and human rights.  Recent works include Immigrant Movement International, a five-year project during which she has spent months living with immigrants in Queens, New York, providing social services infused with artistic viewpoints. “You work with people’s hope, and that is my material,” says Bruguera in a May 19, 2011 article in The New York Times. 

Bruguera makes waves. During her late ’90s performance art piece The Burden of Guilt, she wore a lamb’s carcass as a reference to a legend about clashing Spaniards and Cubans; in the piece Vigilantes: The Dream of Reason, conducted a few years after 9/11, she flew as a passenger in a commercial airliner between Chicago and Toronto, sitting silently with her mouth covered by a sheer mask and wearing a T-shirt with the words “Dissent without fear” printed on the front.

Bruguera’s work is in high demand in America, The Netherlands, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other countries.

Students participating in the workshop include:

Paul Bishop, Art
Jane Corbellini, individual from the community
Shauna Davis, Dance
Zachary Haller, Advertising
Ian Hill, Theatre
Travis LaMothe, Art
Marian Lefeld, Art
Stephanie Machado, Theatre
Ryan McLaughlin, Theatre
Savannah Niles, Art
Rhyanna Lee Odom, Art
Lauren Richman, Art History
Melissa Tran, Art
Rachel Claire Wilson, Film and Media Arts

“The questions posed by her work are things that come up a lot in my own sculptural pursuits,” says Travis LaMothe (M.F.A. Studio Art, ’13).  “It's a great opportunity to disrupt the usual lecture format and discuss subjects that are relevant to her practice.”

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