From: Alvisa, Rafael. "S/T," Tania Bruguera / Ana Mendieta, Ed. CDAV. Havana, Cuba, 1992. p. 3.
by Rafael Alvisa
What can take us from present to past? Why rummaging in the past in a today full of pressures and claims for action and new deeds? Not only r emembrance and yearning may be the cause to start this retrospective, but a reunion with ourselves with a new view.
Behind these reflections, the plot that made Tania reconstruct Ana Mendieta’s artistic and existential work hides. Tania, as every young person beginning to open out to life, started to organize her ideas, to revaluate her interests, to search the intimate feeling of her artistic activity, over and above aesthetic or ludic pleasure. Feeling that an expressive force entered into action during the artistic act, she tried to define it, to identify it and she sensed that behind Ana Mendiata’s creative “magic,” where there was something very close to herself, there might be an answer.
When rescuing shreds of the life of another person, her vitality, her sensitivity, made her realize that someone had actually felt and appreciated similar things and explicitly and honestly had let herself be guided by them. Tania intensely experiences the creative act from its very gestation and is amazed at the intensity of ideas and emotions bubbling in that primary stage, she is amazed at the richness of the inner life canalized through them and of which, in the end, only a shadow will be expressed on the “object” that is made: “The Work.” This last thing, “The Work,” contains and expresses, of course, the essential idea of what has been done and transmits it in a direct or indirect, simple or elaborate “language,” but that “vital whirlwind” which gave rise to it, combined and nursed it, is fundamental for Tania, since in this intimate experience the “true work” is to be found; that is where the restlessness, resolution, searches and hopes of the artist are expressed; there is where the true transcendence of creation is to be found and not in the fate of the work‐object, or the repercussion of work‐artist.
But there is another dimension highlighted in Tania in her attempt to understand Ana: the identification “Being Nature”: the extension “Artist‐Work‐World” as a comprehensively articulated whole that acts like a spring on the persons who see “The Work” and stimulate in them remote strength, vital organization, repercussion in the state of mind and the desire of they themselves feeling‐saying in their own way. Thus, “Tania - Ana - Spectator” are a continuity, while all of them are different, from different worlds, but united by an inner harmony, visual but essential, intangible but real, dynamic, acting.
Beyond aesthetic or ludic pleasure, beyond acknowledgement or reputation, there is a closer feeling of perceiving inner life, communicating its strength, its “vitality”, its constructive action, creating and recreating worlds that exist but are not perceived or are not suspected. Tania transcends Ana when primarily identifying with her, rescuing her from oblivion not because of historical fusion, but as a latent force capable of moving and creating awareness, and she tries to reach others, sweetly powerful, energy‐giving: she, Tania, is now more lucid, more inspired and she wants all to share with her this Vital Boost.