Nancy Spero


    Pain of Cuba

    body I am

    my orphanhood I live

    In Cuba when you die

    the earth that covers us speaks

    But here

    covered by the earth whose prisoner I am

    I feel death palpitating underneath

    the earth.

    And, so

    as my whole body is filled with want of Cuba

    I go on to make my work upon the earth,

    to go on is victory.

    —Ana Mendieta, June 1981

    “WHEN I MAKE MY ART, it is talking to the earth.”1 Ana Mendieta’s art, even when she was alive, was the stuff of myth. She worked alone, outdoors, in secluded, unexpected places, returning often to the same sites in Mexico and Iowa for the “Silueta” (Silhouette) series of


    what do women want?

    What do men want?

    NOBODY ASKS WHAT men want because everyone knows what men want—men want it all. Or maybe no one asks not because men want it all, but because men have it all already, and when women make demands since men have it all, men say What do you women want?, and What‘s wrong with you anyway?

    Or one assumes that what men artists enact is not as man (unlike women artists, who are always assumed to be speaking as woman), but for the universal state of what is. Or—another way of putting it—when men ask what do women want, they are actually inverting the demands made by