October 1, 2018 / 11:47 PM / in 19 days

Cuban artist brings strangers together with migrants and menthol

LONDON (Reuters) - Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s new exhibition looking at neighbourly behaviour and the movement of people will leave you in tears.

Her interactive installation at London’s Tate Modern features a crying room, where a menthol-based organic compound fills the room and makes visitors cry in a bid to create empathy with the strangers around them.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera stands in the middle of her Hyundai Commission artwork, Our Neighbours, in the the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, in London, Britain, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

In a second room, visitors lie down and leave impressions of their bodies on a heat-sensitive floor. All the imprints together, seen from above, look like the face of a refugee.

“There is a big area that requires people working together with their neighbours, the whole piece is about how can we change the idea of community,” Bruguera told Reuters on Monday.

“You are not together because you have the same agenda you are together because you are people and you should work together for the good of everybody.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera lies down in the middle of her Hyundai Commission artwork, Our Neighbours, in the the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, in London, Britain, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

“This is a very big public moment, then you have a private moment in a room where you can cry and feel for others.”

The title of the exhibition changes every day, based on International Organization for Migration data on the ever growing number of people who move or attempt to move location.

“The title is a number,” said Bruguera, who is renowned for her work looking at migration.

“It is understanding we live in a moment of movement, constant human movement and to understand every situation has two sides.”

Reporting by Jayson Mansaray; Writing by Patrick Johnston in London; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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