Ana Mendieta: Connecting to the Earth


“Ana Mendieta: Connecting to the Earth”—curated by Susan Best—will be on view at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) Brisbane from February 9 to March 30, 2019. The IMA is located at the Judith Wright Centre, 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia.

Description: The IMA is pleased to present an exhibition by Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), guest curated by Prof. Susan Best, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Connecting to the Earth brings together two series of works that are about connection to land: the Silueta series and the Rupestrian Sculpture series. Rarely considered together, the two series powerfully demonstrate Mendieta’s idea of feminised nature. Using this ancient idea enabled her to posit alternatives to patriarchal culture in the name of the feminine, including: an ecological sensibility that emphasises the reciprocity between body and land; a resistance to colonialist conceptions of land and territory; and a complicated intertwining of terms that are traditionally polarised, such as transcendence and objectification, presence and absence and so forth.

Ana Mendieta was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, and died in 1985 in New York. In 1961, she was sent by her parents (along with her older sister Raquelin) to live in the United States. She studied at the University of Iowa, participating in the intermedia classes run by Hans Breder, which exposed her to the cutting-edge art practices of the time. Her works range across photography, film, and sculpture. Central to her practice is a critique of colonialist attitudes to nature, a concern with exile, displacement and belonging, as well as a deep interest in ancient cultures.

Susan Best is Professor of Art History and Theory at Griffith University.  She is the author of Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde (2011), and Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography (2016); both won the Australian and New Zealand Art Association prize for best book. Visualizing Feeling discusses the work of Mendieta as introducing an affective dimension to late modern art.

For more information, see

[Above: Detail from Ana Mendieta’s ‘Corazón de Roca con Sangre’, 1975, super-8mm film transferred to high-definition digital media, color, silent, 3:14 minutes. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Accessed via]

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