Imagen de Yagul
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ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

In the "Silueta" series, Ana Mendieta photographed impressions of her body in sites from Iowa to this ancient Mesoamerican tomb in Mexico.

As a political exile from her home country of Cuba, Mendieta’s work often takes an interest in site specificity and the lingering presence of a body that no longer remains. Always performed somewhere in nature, her work engages with the outdoors and is said to have a spiritual, circle-of-life type aspect that distinguishes it from urban-centered art that references pop culture and commerce.

This one is particularly eerie, as Mendieta’s nude body is covered in sprigs of white wildflowers, which makes it seem like a corpse in a grave. So what, right? Lots of artists take up the issue of death in their work. But not many of those artists are then allegedly murdered by their famous sculptor husband.

Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta had the tumultuous, passionate relationship one would expect from two celebrity artists. One evening in 1985 Manhattan, after neighbors heard a domestic dispute between the two, Mendieta “fell” out their 34th floor window. Though Andre was arrested at the scene, he was eventually acquitted of the second-degree murder charge.

The case severed the art world into two factions, those who believed his innocence and those who thought Mendieta was a victim of the type of violence against women her work so often references. For what it’s worth, I'm of the camp who thinks she was pushed. In any case, the tragedy makes this photograph of her partially invisible, unmoving body especially sinister.