Whenever she leaves Cuba, the authorities tell her not to come back. What does the Cuban artist have in store for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall? Will the mounted police have to be called out again?
Tania Bruguera, the Cuban artist and activist, is sort of talking about a project she shouldn’t talk about. She is the latest artist to take on Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall commission – its details a secret until the installation is opened with theatrical flourish on 2 October. And she is enjoying the suspense: she has been dropping tantalising clues on her Instagram account that take the form of images of well-known paintings. Clue No 1 is Caillebotte’s Les Raboteurs de Parquet, an impressionist work from the 1870s that depicts three artisans scraping down the wooden floor in a bourgeois apartment. Clue No 2 is Holbein’s Ambassadors, which shows two beautifully dressed men standing next to a table loaded down with intriguing objects.