PRINT April 1992


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 1973 to 1980.

“I work with the earth, I make sculptures in the landscape. Because I have no motherland, I feel a need to join with the earth, to return to her womb.” . . . Using earth, leaves, sand, stones, sticks, blood, water, tempera, tree trunks, gunpowder, grass, flowers, and fire, . . . Ana

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