Fundamento de Palo Monte: Ana Mendieta

Mar 09, 2024 — Sep 14, 2024

The iconic silhouette motifs of Ana Mendieta's career represent meaningful relationships between human and land. Filmed in Iowa, Fundamento de Palo Monte: Silueta Series (Gunpowder Works) reflects the artist's reality as a Cuban-exile living in the United States. She explained, “This [practice] has much to do with Cuba, in the sense that I was attracted to nature because I didn’t have a land, a Motherland.” 

Known as siluetas, Mendieta’s forms are land-based sites of transformation, often documented over time with a hand-held Super-8 camera. The hollow bodily form featured in Fundamento de Palo Monte is filled to the brim with gunpowder. A stack of rocks sit at the top center of the silueta, recalling a human heart. Over the duration of the film, the silueta is set ablaze and the incised body is obscured by thick white smoke, revealing a pile of ash surrounding the raised-heart. Mendieta's silueta engages through processes of destruction and rebirth. In this act of self-healing, Mendieta's performance searches for a sense of belonging to time and place.

Presented by Art Bridges.

Image: Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Fundamento de Palo Monte: Silueta Series (Gunpowder Works), 1980, super-8mm film transferred to high-definition digital media, color, silent, duration: 5 minutes, 56 seconds. Art Bridges. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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