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Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart – Tania Bruguera. Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading “The Origins of Totalitarianism”) | 07.02.2024-11.02.2024

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Artist and activist Tania Bruguera presents her performance “Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading The Origins of Totalitarianism)”, a 100-hour reading of Hannah Arendt’s “Elements and Origins of Total Rule” at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart. Artists, theorists and activists* will read the political theorist’s magnum opus continuously, day and night, from 7 February 2024, 7pm, to Sunday 11 February 2024, 11pm, in the museum’s Historic Hall. Bruguera’s first performance in Cuba in May 2015 led to her imprisonment by the Cuban authorities. Hamburger Bahnhof is showing the European premiere

Fig. above: Tania Bruguera, Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading The Origins of Totalitarianism), 2015, courtesy of the artist, Foto / photo: Leandro Feal

The Hamburger Bahnhof’s Historische Halle will be open to the public without interruption for the entire duration of 100 hours. The Cuban artist Tania Bruguera (born 1968) will read from Hannah Arendt’s (1906-1975) book “Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft” (Orig. “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, 1951). Bruguera invites other people who deal with Arendt and her work, with political thought and power relations, freedom and democracy, authoritarianism and populism from different perspectives. They take turns reading with Bruguera and discussing the work with her and the audience. For four days and nights, the audience stays in the museum in exchange with Bruguera and the readers on central themes of our coexistence.

In 2021, Bruguera founded INSTAR – Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt with a group of Cuban artists and activists, which was awarded the Arnold Bode Prize of the city of Kassel in 2021 and participated in documenta fifteen. Curated by Alice Koegel, Curator, Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart.

The exhibition is made possible by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation.


Hamburger Bahnhof – National Gallery of Contemporary Art
Invalidenstrasse 50/51
10557 Berlin-Mitte


Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday + Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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