Ochun, Key Biscayne, Florida




Ana Mendieta
American, born Cuba, 1948–1985

About this artwork

Emerging in the early 1970s amid new genres of land art, performance art, film and video, and feminist practices, artist Ana Mendieta developed a deeply personal, experimental, and largely ephemeral oeuvre consisting chiefly of performative actions that she described as “earth-body sculptures.” Born in Cuba, Mendieta came to the United States as a refugee in 1961 at the age of 12. The trauma of separation from her family, culture, and homeland became the bedrock of the artist’s practice, which was rooted in physical and spiritual connections between the body and the natural world. The Silueta series—hundreds of earth-body sculptures and their attendant photographs and films—constitutes the core of Mendieta’s project. Based initially on the artist’s own body and silhouette, the Siluetas developed into a panopoly of archetypal goddess figures and eventually more universal human forms. They also incorporated a unique blend of ritual effects drawn from diverse religious practices in much the same way as studio performances Untitled (Body Tracks) and Untitled (Blood Sign #1), in which she used animal blood. An intensely productive period of travel to Cuba, where Mendieta felt her practice was reconnected with its origins, promoted these and other drawings, etching, and sculptures in which, for the first, her iconic goddess forms became permanent individual objects.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art


Ana Mendieta


Ochun, Key Biscayne, Florida


United States




8mm color film transferred to digital video disc; edition number three of six


Duration: 8 min. 30 sec.

Credit Line

Gift of Diane and Bruce Halle from the Thomarie Foundation

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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