The Body and the Earth: Ana Mendieta

Nature as mother/land

By La Galleria Nazionale

Untitled (burial pyramid)La Galleria Nazionale

"I use the earth as a canvas and my soul as an instrument."

Ana Mendiet’s body is the center of her artistic research. Halfway between Land and Body Art, her artistic poetry is inspired by ancient suggestions, and it generates a link between the human body and primordial nature.

Other important references are indigenous cultures to which she refers by borrowing symbols and rituals, among these, the sacrificial rites of the "Cuban santeria" play a leading role.

Untitled (burial pyramid)La Galleria Nazionale

Even the ideals of feminism are manifested through an intimate and visceral art immersed in the Earth.

The artist defined herself as Earth-body artist.

Ana Mendieta's earth sculptures reproduce the artist's body with natural materials: tracing the contours of a generic female figure, almost the archetype of a goddess.

Untitled (burial pyramid)La Galleria Nazionale

As in a magical ritual, the woman's body surrounded by nature creates a connection between the artist and the earth.

Snow, ice, stones, grass, leaves and fire are the medium.

As a child, as a consequence of a plan against the spread of communism, she was removed from Cuba, and from her family.

The trauma of emotional detachment is visible in her art as a search for intense feelings, anger, feeling alive and above all the search for a new physical bond with the earth.

"I work with the Earth, I make sculptures in the landscape, since I don't have a mother/country, I feel the need to approach the earth and return to her womb."

Ana Mendieta's artistic research moves around her figure. A female body immersed in nature which is both a symbol of identity and a denunciation tool.

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