Ana Mendieta
Sweating Blood

When she was 13, Ana Mendieta’s (*1948 †1985, Cuba, USA) parents sent her and her sister from Cuba to live in the US. This experience of living in exile was formative for Mendieta’s artistic work. She began working less frequently with art objects already while studying painting and started doing performances instead. Her artworks touch on themes of violence against women, exile, the impermanence of the body, and forces of nature. Mendieta was involved in numerous feminist art projects, such as Artists in Residence Gallery, New York, but she remained critical toward mainstream ‘white’ feminism, which marginalised black women and immigrants. She died young due to a tragic accident.

Ana Mendieta’s works revolve around the four elements, the human body and traditional rituals: They represent the often painful conditions of human existence, which she investigates in self-experiments. Sweating Blood shows Mendieta’s head in a close up. Blood collects on her forehead and begins to trickle down slowly. She meditatively lives through a seemingly painful condition, resting with a kind of voodoo calm.

Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Document media
Super 8 film, colour, silent, 3:00 min

Issue date

Laura Cottingham (COT 1)

pain, ritual, sexual violence