Ana Mendieta, 1948 – 1985, the U.S.

Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-American artist who worked in sculpture, performative action, painting, and film, best known for her “earth-body” works, the Silueta Series. Her art practice explored the relationship between the body and the landscape. She is considered one of the most influential Cuban-American artists of the post-World War II era.

Birth (Gunpowder Works) depicts a sculpture created by Ana Mendieta in suburban Iowa in 1981. The arrangement of mud distinctly embodies the feminine figure she repeatedly used in her artistic creation. Within the video, the sculpted figure undergoes an abrupt combustion from the heart. The smoke gradually disperses, ultimately revealing the charred earth that remains. She then gradually pulled away her lens. The original film of this work was recorded in separate films. In the restorage of Mendieta’s film works in 2014, the separated pieces were first combined together and shown in front of the audience for the first time. (S.H & J.W)

Image Credit
© 2023 The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

  • Birth (Gunpowder Works)

    1981, Super-8mm film transferred to high-definition digital media, black and white, silent 2'59"