Ana Mendieta is the subject of a survey at Colby Museum of Art, Maine, which is on public view from October 3 2017 – December 17 2017.
Iowa became Mendieta’s adoptive home for a lengthy period. She spent eleven years at the University of Iowa before graduating with multiple art degrees and training in subjects such as archaeology and theater. While enrolled in the MFA Intermedia Program there, Mendieta experimented with Super 8 film stock.
Between 1974 and 1980 she created more than one hundred ‘Siluetas’, photographic and filmic records of her use of elemental materials (earth, water, air, fire) for “earth-body sculptures” enacted in Iowa and Mexico. This series includes Silueta Sangrienta, a silent two-minute film that cuts from the artist, prone and nude, to a hollow echoing her archaic pose, and provides the title for this exhibition.
The silhouette reappears as a reservoir for unnaturally brilliant red fluid, and finally we see the artist face down, partially submerged. (Mendieta opted to use paint rather than blood for heightened contrast with the soil.) Throughout the piece she dramatises the camera’s static position through her pacing and editing: what results is an unsettling narrative sequence that resists linear time.