Ana Mendieta, Alma Silueta en Fuego, 1975
Ana Mendieta
Alma Silueta en Fuego

When she was 13, Ana Mendieta’s (*1948 †1985, Cuba, USA) parents sent her and her sister from Cuba to live in the US. This experience of living in exile was formative for Mendieta’s artistic work. She began working less frequently with art objects already while studying painting and started doing performances instead. Her artworks touch on themes of violence against women, exile, the impermanence of the body, and forces of nature. Mendieta was involved in numerous feminist art projects, such as Artists in Residence Gallery, New York, but she remained critical toward mainstream ‘white’ feminism, which marginalised black women and immigrants. She died young due to a tragic accident.

Between the years 1973 and 1980, Ana Mendieta created a series of works, collectively entitled Silueta, originating on trips between the US state of Iowa and Mexico. They all share in common the formal element of the artist’s silhouette represented and filled with organic materials, such as rocks, branches and flowers. This film, Alma Silueta en Fuego (Soul Silhouette on Fire), originally recorded with a Super 8 camera, shows a ghostly silhouette on the ground that catches fire and burns up.

Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Video performance

Document media
Super 8 film, colour, silent, 3:30 min

Issue date

Laura Cottingham (COT 1)

dis/appearance, migration, nature, ritual