From the NY Times:
Tania Bruguera has eaten dirt, hung a dead lamb from her neck and served trays of cocaine to a gallery audience, all in the name of art. She has shown her work at the Venice Biennale, been feted at the Pompidou Center in Paris and landed a Guggenheim fellowship.
But now she is sharing a tiny apartment in Corona, Queens, with five illegal immigrants and their six children, including a newborn, while scraping by on the minimum wage, without health insurance.
She has not fallen on hard times. Ms. Bruguera is performing a yearlong art piece meant to improve the image of immigrants and highlight their plight. And she is bringing her high-concept brand of provocation to a low-wattage precinct of taco stands and auto-body shops, where the neighbors have responded with varying degrees of curiosity, amusement and befuddlement.
I was going to just make fun of this, since it's a really stupid "art" project. But then I read this: Ms. Bruguera has turned the space, a former beauty supply store, into the headquarters for her new advocacy group-cum-art project, Immigrant Movement International, using about $85,000 from Creative Time, a nonprofit arts group, and the Queens Museum of Art.
She's getting grants from not-for-profits funded by our tax dollars, even though it says in the article that she's a woman of means who could have funded this experiment herself. How generous of us!
Her roommates, especially an out-of-work Ecuadorean laborer, do not know what to make of her. “I explained to them four times what I’m doing already,” she said. “They don’t get it. They’re not very excited.”
Looks like I have something in common with Ecuadorean day laborers in Corona...