Tania Bruguera directs Beckett

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Tania Bruguera makes her debut as a theatrical director in Portugual this week with Endgame, the one-act play by Samuel Beckett. In an interview with the UK newspaper The Guardian, Bruguera said that she was “interested in how Endgame brings power dynamics into our everyday lives,” adding that “It feels relevant to see this piece today, when the world is seduced by so-called strong political figures and when democracy is abused instead of enacted.”

Bruguera’s Endgame will be presented at the Biennial of Contemporary Arts (BoCA) in Porto, this Thursday and Friday, April 20–21. It will travel to the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels, May 16–21, and later in the season to Nanterre, France, and Hamburg, Germany.

Tania Bruguera (1968) is a Cuban artist operating at the intersection of art and life, exploring the role of artists and art in today’s society and in the realm of politics. For over 25 years Bruguera has created socially engaged performances and installations that examine the nature of political power structures and their effect on the lives of society’s most vulnerable individuals and groups. Her research focuses on ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life.

Promoting the concept of useful art (literally, art as a advantage and a tool), Tania Bruguera proposes solutions for socio-political problems through the implementation of art projects. This has resulted in long-term projects that include a community centre, a political party for immigrants, and the Behaviour Art School.

In the context of BoCA, Bruguera challenges herself to enter theatre territory with Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, a play she read in 1998. She has designed a gigantic cylindrical structure of scaffolding that allows the audience to watch the performance from above.

In Portugal for the first time, Bruguera will be in residence at Mosteiro São Bento da Vitória/Teatro Nacional São João, where her first foray into theatre will have its world premiere.

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