Our lobby and galleries will be closed today, Monday 6/17. Please visit for our regular hours.
In June 2017, YBCA and renowned artist and activist Tania Bruguera will embark on a wide-ranging collaboration in which the art center performs the functions of a civic institution.

Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder is a survey exhibition that presents all of Bruguera’s long-term, socially engaged art projects to date. As part of the exhibition, the artist will also open a school in YBCA’s galleries. The Escuela de Arte Útil will convene weekly classes (June 20-Aug 10), taught by Bruguera and other prominent artist-educators, on topics such as systems of power and creative dissent. A cohort of YBCA Fellows will serve as the primary pupils, but members of the public are welcome to attend classes on a drop-in basis.

Bruguera works at the intersection of activism and performance art to address structures of power, devise new utopian models of authority, and create alternative structures that aim to transform and redistribute power. This has resulted in long-term art projects that take the form of social movements, newspapers, and schools—and even Bruguera’s own provocative self-nomination for the 2018 Cuban presidential election, a gesture meant to invite others to do the same. Time and again, she proves that systems of power can be reimagined, changed, and made more inclusive and democratic.

Ticket Info

Regular Admission: $10

10% off admission for seniors, students, and teachers, non-profit employees, KQED members, public transit riders, and library card holders.

FREE for same-day film or performance ticket holders, children 5 and under, and military service members with ID.

First Tuesdays of the month: Free admission.

See our open hours »

YBCA Members

FREE for YBCA Members at all levels*.

YBCA Members enjoy unlimited free admission to gallery exhibitions*.

Not yet a YBCA Member? Join now »

*Number of tickets per visit based on membership level.


Tania Bruguera

For more than 25 years Tania Bruguera has created socially-engaged performances and installations that examine the nature of political power structures and their effect on the lives of society’s most vulnerable individuals and groups. Her research focuses on ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life—on the transformation of social affect into political effectiveness. Her long-term projects are intensive interventions on the institutional structure of collective memory, education, and politics. Her works often expose the social effects of political forces and present global issues of power, migration, censorship and repression through participatory works that turn “viewers” into “citizens.”

By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it.

Awarded an Honoris Causa by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, selected one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, shortlisted for the #Index100 Freedom of Expression Award, a Herb Alpert Award winner, a Radcliffe and Yale World Fellow, and the first artist-in-residence in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.


Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder is organized by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and curated by Lucía Sanromán, director of visual arts, and Susie Kantor, curatorial associate. The exhibition is supported, in part, by the Alvarez Family Foundation and The Growlery. Additional support is provided by Changing the Ratio: Female Artists at YBCA Circle of Advisors Berit Ashla, Diana Cohn, Rekha Patel, and Catalina Ruiz-Healy and Jonathan Kevles.

Escuela de Arte Útil, a commissioned art project for the exhibition Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder, is organized in collaboration with YBCA Fellows, California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and the Asociación de Arte Útil.

YBCA Exhibitions 17–18 are made possible in part by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, and United Airlines.

Free First Tuesdays underwritten by Directors Forum Members.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

Lead Image: Tania Bruguera, The Francis Effect (2014). Courtesy Studio Bruguera. Photography by Gaetano Olmo Stuppia.