The Artist World: A Study of Ana Mendieta’ Works

The question God asks first when He wants to bless you is, "What is that in your hand?" You need to know what you have then you can be taught the best way to utilize it. If a refugee could make her life worth living through art exhibitions, you have no excuse sitting in your father's house looking for help from heaven. stand up now! 

Tree of Life, 1976 Photograph © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC,Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Much has been written about Mendieta’s relationship with the earth, but not a great deal has focused on this sense of global catastrophe, the overwhelmingly real or feared natural events that might make our moving bodies disappear.  To be sure, the artist’s Silueta Series photographs, also on display in Metz, help us to think about the history of Mendieta’s marked absence, the notion of the trace of an end or an incomplete whole in her presentation of earth/body symbiosis.  I have consequently opened with the moving image because I believe that the recent resuscitation of the entirety of Mendieta’s filmic works, led by her niece Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, will further revolutionize the way we understand Mendieta’s life’s production.  I also believe that the manner in which we view her old and revived work—in conjunction with moving image theory—needs to be addressed in relationship to the museum’s unique cinematic architecture and its moving clienteles.

Ana Mendieta, Untitled: Silueta Series, Mexico, 1973 Photograph © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC,Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

I have consequently opened with the moving image because it is believed that the recent resuscitation of the entirety of Mendieta’s filmic works, led by her niece Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, will further revolutionize the way we understand Mendieta’s life’s production.  I also believe that the manner in which we view her old and revived work—in conjunction with moving image theory—needs to be addressed in relationship to the museum’s unique cinematic architecture and its moving patrons.

On Giving Life, 1975 Photograph © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC,Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Captured in film, Mendieta’s revived works are now also digital, and might have been witnessed most recently in Galerie Lelong’s Ana Mendieta: Experimental and Interactive Films. The resuscitation of Mendieta’s filmic work and her continued exhibition within the archive of the museum appear to be ordered, the result of systematic focused labor, a far cry from the “chaos” that marks this edition.

Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban American performance art, sculpture, painter and video artist who is best known for her "earth-body" artwork. Born in Havana, Mendieta arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1961. 

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