June 29, 2022

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), 1973-77Courtesy MCA Chicago

This stirring image shows the late Cuban artist Ana Mendieta performing one of her Siluetas. For the series, Mendieta would lie down in remote landscapes, creating an imprint of her body or covering herself in natural materials, before documenting her process. The performances touched upon her “experience as an exile who was separated from her homeland at a young age,” explains MoMA, referring to the artist’s relocation to Iowa at the age of 12 in the wake of the Cuban revolution. “She marked the land, leaving the trace of her absent body. This trace perhaps serves as a metaphor for her absence from her birthplace; she was unable to return to Cuba until the 1980s.”

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