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Tania Bruguera: Surplus Value – The Tanks

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Published on Aug 17, 2012

Through her on-going art project 'Immigrant Movement International', Cuban artist Tania Bruguera explores questions surrounding immigration - how an immigrant is defined as such and what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Her new work at Tate Modern, 'Surplus Value', advances her discussion with a provocative multidisciplinary piece, requiring people to line up and pass a polygraph test concerning visa applications before they can be granted access to the inner gallery. Once inside the dimly lit space a sign gradually reveals itself through the sparks caused as a migrant worker welds its surface.

The sign reads 'Arbeit Macht Frei' ('work liberates') and is a 1:1 replica of a sign that was stolen from Auschwitz and found cut into three parts.

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