Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 - 6:05 pm

San Diego, CA—On Wednesday, February 27, at 7 PM, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) and UC San Diego (UCSD) will present its annual Russell Lecture at MCASD’s La Jolla location. The 2013 Russell Lecturer is internationally acclaimed artist Tania Bruguera. 

Bruguera, whom the New York Times calls an “art world darling,” is best known for her often aggressive performances and installations that aim to disrupt ordinary ways of reacting to specific situations. The Cuban-born American artist is a graduate of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and has held professorships at the University of Chicago and the University IUAV, Venice, Italy. She founded the Catedra de Arte de Conducta (School of the Art of Behavior) as an artist-led artwork/school that offers alternative training to art students in Cuba. Bruguera has created works for Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, Sao Paolo Biennial, Shanghai, and Site Santa Fe, among others.

Her performances, events, installations, and social interventions blur the line between life and art, reflecting on dynamics of power and the politics of our current social structures. For Tatlin’s Whisper #5 (2008) at London’s Tate Modern, Bruguera enlisted two uniformed policemen mounted on horseback who marshaled the gathered audience around the gallery space using techniques developed to control rioting crowds. Bruguera was exposing behavioral responses in the obedient audience: respect for men in uniform, fear of animals, and passive subjection before an artwork and a performer. In a 2010 New York Times’ article, writer Benjamin Genocchio said “Ms. Bruguera makes the kind of work that art curators and critics like — it is conceptual in orientation, theatrical in presentation and has a smattering of sociopolitical relevance.”

For many years, MCASD and UCSD have partnered to bring contemporary artists to the city through the annual Russell Lecture program. The Russell Foundation was established in the will of Betty Russell, one of MCASD's founding docents and a long-time supporter of UCSD. She specified that funds from the foundation should help "foster the appreciation and study of the modern visual arts and creativity of young artists" through support to the Museum and the University. Past Russell Lecture speakers have included Nancy Rubins (2006), Robert Irwin (2008), Sophia Calle (2009), and Isaac Julien (2011).

In addition to this public lecture, Bruguera will have a chance to meet and interact with students in UCSD’s Visual Arts Department as part of the Russell Foundation program.

Tickets are now on sale at all MCASD front desks during regular gallery hoursand one hour before the evening’s lecture at the Box Office. Tickets can also be purchased at Tickets are available at a limited capacity and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Russell Lecture is free for MCASD Members and UCSD faculty, students, and staff. Tickets are $15 for general admission, and $5 for seniors and non-UCSD students.

Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.
Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the James Irvine Foundation.
The UC San Diego Visual Arts Department is intentionally and uniquely situated as a multidisciplinary arts program housed in one of the nation’s top institutions for higher education and research. Founded in 1967 by some of the country’s leading conceptual artists—David and Eleanor Antin, Helen Mayer, Newton Harrison, Allan Kaprow, Manny Farber and Harold Cohen—the department offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Master of Arts (M.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (Ph. D) degrees. The Visual Arts Department is founded on the distinctive premise that the production of art, and historical and theoretical reflection upon art, are most effectively pursued within a single discursive community. It is an innovative space that encourages students to reach across media-specific boundaries into new forms of art making.
# # #