”My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that unite me to the universe.”
Ana Mendieta was a Cuban performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist. She was married to minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Mendieta died on September 8, 1985 in New York from a fall from her 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village, where she lived with her husband of eight months, minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Andre was tried and acquitted of her murder. During the trial, Andre’s lawyer described Mendieta’s death as a possible accident or suicide. The cause of her death may never be known.
na (1973) was part of series of works devised in response to the rape and murder of a fellow student on the Iowa University campus, where Mendieta completed her BA, MA (painting) and an MFA (inter-media). She invited friends and fellow students to her apartment. The viewer entered through a slightly ajar door into a dark apartment into a room where the artist appeared under a single source of light revealing Mendieta stripped from the waist down. The artist stood slouched and bound over a table, nude from the waist down and smeared with her body smeared in blood. Around her was an assemblage of broken plates and blood on the floor. Her direct identification with a specific victim meant that she could not be seen as an anonymous object in a theatrical tableau.
I’ve never been so deeply affected by an artist as I am by Ana Mendieta. I feel weirdly connected to her art in a way that makes me feel like my heart is going to explode when I look at it.