Some students in class

By | July 29, 2017

working with other artists to provide services to immigrants from across the city.“We don’t want to just create conversations,” Bruguera says after class. “We also want to create a parallel institution that works differently so people can see, ‘Oh, actually things do not have to be this way.’”

But some students in class are confused as to why an artist would be doing work usually handled by journalists or social service providers.“Why do we need art at all if the whole point is operational?” one student asks from the back of the class.

“If you’re going to make houses for homeless people, why is it even arte útil? Why not just útil?”Bruguera answers by comparing herself to a hypothetical engineer who has discovered the perfect energy source that’s clean, cheap and plentiful. The engineer shares his discovery with the world to make everyone’s lives better.

Bruguera says no one would expect the engineer to stop calling himself an engineer as a result of these game-changing efforts. “Why do I have to stop calling myself an artist?” she says.Bruguera’s views have gotten her into trouble with the authorities.

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