Where is Ana Mendieta?: Identity, Performativity, and Exile

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Duke University Press, 1999 - Art - 165 pages
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Ana Mendieta, a Cuban-born artist who lived in exile in the United States, was one of the most provocative and complex personalities of the 1970s' artworld. In Where Is Ana Mendieta? art historian Jane Blocker provides an in-depth critical analysis of Mendieta's diverse body of work. Although her untimely death in 1985 remains shrouded in controversy, her life and artistic legacy provide a unique vantage point from which to consider the history of performance art, installation, and earth works, as well as feminism, multiculturalism, and postmodernism.
Taken from banners carried in a 1992 protest outside the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the title phrase “Where is Ana Mendieta?” evokes not only the suspicious and tragic circumstances surrounding her death but also the conspicuous absence of women artists from high-profile exhibitions. Drawing on the work of such theorists as Judith Butler, Joseph Roach, Edward Said, and Homi Bhabha, Blocker discusses the power of Mendieta's earth-and-body art to alter, unsettle, and broaden the terms of identity itself. She shows how Mendieta used exile as a discursive position from which to disrupt dominant categories, analyzing as well Mendieta's use of mythology and anthropology, the ephemeral nature of her media, and the debates over her ethnic, gender, and national identities.
As the first major critical examination of this enigmatic artist's work, Where Is Ana Mendieta? will interest a broad audience, particularly those involved with the production, criticism, theory, and history of contemporary art.


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More important, Crimp argues convincingly that, even when such works are granted a place and are squeezed in amid the pages of dominant art histories, ...
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Even more troubling questions, however, are prompted by Schneemann 's performance: What kind of cosmetic makeover must be endured in order to be found? ...
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Thomas Leavitt, the museum's director, proposes that earth art would do no less than the trumpets outside the walls of Jericho, claiming that "it is even ...
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Even if one is able to satisfy those competing demands, the problem of history remains. Mendieta's identity strains historiography to the extent that it ...
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Even those who champion the experiments made by artists of this period, which question art's formalism and materialism, are perplexed by the contradiction ...
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Performativity expands, even breaks, the identity categories that have plagued Mendieta.48 Performative identity is not homogeneous, stable, essential, ...
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Even if we momentarily (and artificially) isolate the debate on essentialism and gender from other ...
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Even Judith Buder concedes that it is impossible to do away with identity categories and the dangers of essence that they imply.s If we make room in our ...
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... or into the body of a sea monster, or of a wild beast, or even a domestic animal."19 This statement has obvious resonance with much of Mendieta's work, ...
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25 Like Mendieta, Eliade's understanding of history produces a paradox in which the search for origins exists "above all" even though "there is no original ...
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As long as there has been land, the direction of culture has been one of constant expansion.1 Even if ...
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This body, soft with flesh, its limbs brightened by warm sunlight, is as transient as the delicate flowers that wilt even as the shutter clicks. ...
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I want to beckon him toward an even broader understanding of the notion of deterritorialization. I would place more emphasis on Gilles Deleuze and Felix ...
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This image, too, has been seen as representing a goddess, one in which the ties to nature are even more direct than in ...
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Even more than the house itself, the trees declare ownership of that land; their roots push down deep into the earth, forcefully making it home. ...
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He writes, "It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow- members, meet them, or even hear of them, ...
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It would be misguided, then, to conceive of these words as antonyms, as dichotomous. It is not even as though they are tied together in the manner ...
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... and others followed suit, generating texts that explain her art, her life, and, even in some cases, her death in terms of exile. ...
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If one could claim even a small portion of the earth as one's own territory, exile was assuaged." 18 She was, according to most writers, digging in the dirt ...
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O conteúdo desta página é restrito.
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... it is important to remember that even this cannot be considered the origin of the tale since, as a collector of anthropological data, Junod does not ...
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In this sense, Mendieta's travel is significant neither because with it she attains a new national identity, nor even because with it she renews an old one, ...


Writing toward Disappearance

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Page 9 - Why is it that just at the moment when so many of us who have been silenced begin to demand the right to name ourselves, to act as subjects rather than objects of history, that just then the concept of subjecthood becomes problematic?
Page 8 - I spawned you have slithered out of the excesses and vitality of the sixties he said you can do as I do take one clear process follow its strictest implications intellectually establish a system of permutations establish their visual set I said my film is concerned with DIET AND DIGESTION very well he said then why the train? the train is DEATH as there is die in diet and di in digestion...
Page 8 - I met a happy man a structuralist filmmaker — but don't call me that it's something else I do — he said we are fond of you you are charming but don't ask us to look at your films we cannot there are certain films we cannot look at the personal clutter the persistence of feelings the hand-touch sensibility the diaristic indulgence the painterly mess the dense gestalt the primitive techniques...

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About the author (1999)

Jane Blocker is Assistant Professor of Art History at Georgia State University.

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