“Now here’s a book that’s meant to be used.”David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org & OpEd News
Coco Fusco is a New York-based, Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist and writer, and the director of Intermedia Initiatives at Parsons The New School for Design. Her videos, multimedia installations and public performances address issues of race and international relations. For example, she issued replicas of passbooks, once required of black South Africans entering white neighborhoods during apartheid, to serve as proof of payment for the 1997 Johannesburg Biennial. Her more recent work deals with the role of female interrogators in the war on terror. In her 2005 public performance “Bare Life Study #1,” Fusco dressed as a military policewoman, assumed authoritative positions over fifty shackled young people (played by drama students) in orange inmate uniforms, and commanded them to scrub the floor in front of the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo, Brazil, with their toothbrushes. The performance was based on reports that American soldiers order prisoners to clean their cells with their toothbrushes for hours at a time.