Arnold Bode Prize 2021 goes to INSTAR and Tania Bruguera

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At the suggestion of the Arnold Bode Foundation’s curatorial board, the city council of Kassel, in its function as the executive board of the Foundation, has decided to award the Arnold Bode Prize 2021 to the Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR) and the artist Tania Bruguera. This recommendation honors both the collective and its founder Tania Bruguera.

Born in 1968, Tania Bruguera is an artist with an international reputation as a politically engaged installation and performance artist. In 2002, her performance installation in the Binding Brewery for Documenta11 made a lasting impression. Her Arte Útil, useful art, makes social grievances and the abuse of political power directly tangible while also offering ways of creating change. After Fidel Castro’s death in 2016, Bruguera became involved in actions and projects that would lead Cuba out of totalitarianism. However, the hope for a Cuban Spring was not fulfilled. Instead, Bruguera has been repeatedly imprisoned and continually placed under house arrest. But her commitment remains unbroken. In 2015, together with a group of fellow activists, she founded the collective INSTAR.

INSTAR is part of documenta fifteen’s lumbung network. According to the Arnold Bode Foundation’s curatorial board, the recognition of INSTAR’s risky work, which accompanies the award, cannot be overestimated in terms of the motivation it will inspire in the artists. According to Bruguera, it also provides “a huge protection.”

The Arnold Bode Foundation Prize, worth 10,000 euros, has been awarded since 1980. Initially presented annually, after 1987, it was awarded biannually and every documenta year to artists in recognition of their outstanding achievements for contemporary art. It was most recently awarded in 2019 to Hans Haacke.

More information: Website of the City of Kassel