On 24 April 1976, Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta (1948–1985) performed at the ICC (Internationaal Cultureel Centrum) in Antwerp in a newly developed performance program. Forty-three years later, Earthbound is the first solo exhibition of Ana Mendieta in Belgium and will act as an enlightening introduction to her oeuvre.
Ana Mendieta is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and prolific artists of the postwar era. Mendieta’s particular way of merging performance, earth art and sculpture resulted in a unique and remarkable form of artistic expression. In her short but intense artistic career she produced an exceptional body of work that included performances, films, installations, sculptures, photographs and drawings. Mendieta was not only a pioneer in form but also in the content of her work by acknowledging investigations of history, gender and culture.
The exhibition at Middelheim's Braem Pavillion opens up perspectives on how we relate as human beings to our surrounding environment. Through a direct bodily connection with nature, Mendieta’s works seek both a means of individual self-representation and a connection to universal ancestral power. The works selected for Earthbound all express Mendieta’s fascination with earth, water, air, fire and their elemental energy. By acknowledging that nature and its elements are active and have agency, she was able to think beyond the boundaries of religion, history and identity.
This intimate project makes clear that Mendieta’s works not only raise fundamental questions about normative social systems but also represent a shift in perspective on recent sculpture traditions, from a vision determined by figurative sculpture, to one connected with land art and performance.
This exhibition is a collaboration with the Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection & Galerie Lelong & Co.
Artists: Ana Mendieta