Forming an iconic series in her brief career, Ana Mendieta’s “earth-body” sculptures inscribed abstract outlines of female bodies in the landscape, multiple figures of an archetypal goddess shaped by her interest in Afro-Cuban religions. The films Burial Pyramid and Alma, Silueta en Fuego, in which the artist’s physical being is undermined, archive the traces of an exhausted body. Yet, respiration and fire breathe life into what seems to be a grave: the energy of life wins out over death. Trauma linked to her separation from family, culture, and homeland awoke in Mendieta an anger, an intensity for life, conveyed in the creation of a meaningful space for the female body in relation to the land.
Burial Pyramid (1974)
Alma, Silueta en Fuego (1975)