This essay describes how two works by the Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera articulate the conditions of participation within both the political and aesthetic fields. That articulation unfolds in Bruguera's specifying her performances' structures of address in order to demonstrate the ways in which individuals are variously folded into or blocked out of community-forming activities. In their insistence on such specificity, which this essay traces to a modernist notion of medium specificity, Bruguera's performances are shown to question the manner in which the field of “participatory art” is frequently generated out of an optimism for effective political and artistic practice within the conditions of post-Fordist sociality.

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