Tania Bruguera: Immigrant Movement International
The experience of the immigrant to anywhere is strange and disorientating. There appear to be rules and ways of doing things. Some people seem to be in the know, and everyone else knows what’s going on. Progress is selective and random, and you don’t know what awaits you.
There is plenty of immersive art which engenders a sense of disorientation, and you may think, why bother when you can experience that on the Tube every day. Trust this artist – it is worthwhile. We could not possibly reveal anything at all about the experience of this piece, as it is dependent on the element of surprise, and being game to go along with it. But don’t worry, the surprise is not a shock, and gives a subtle sense of disorientation which does have a resolution, rather than leaving you ejected through a backdoor somewhere; the butt of an artist’s cruel joke. This time the artist does not play a joke on the viewer, but leads to a genuine experience.
The “punch-line” of the piece is dependent on understanding what it references. Again, without giving it away, most people will get the reference, and if they don’t, they frankly should. This piece has a power which grows in the hours after seeing it, as more layers of meaning occur. Sometimes it’s the most gently political work which has the most impact.
The Tanks at Tate Modern is the sort of raw place that artists love. If you share a love of seeing the innards of a building and industrial architecture, the concrete catacombs still smell of oil, have odd staircases going nowhere and dark spaces leading to installations, video art and yet more experiences.
Tania Bruguera: Immigrant Movement International runs from 7th-15th August 2012 at Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG (last entry 5.15pm). Admission is free. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.