Ana Mendieta: Suspended Fire

Dec 6, 2020 - Mar 7, 2021


Ana Mendieta: Suspended Fire is an immersive installation featuring two films created by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. The installment will be the newest addition to the DAM's cross-departmental exhibition The Light Show and will showcase remastered versions of Anima, Silueta de Cohetes (Firework Piece), 1976, and Untitled: Silueta Series, 1978. The two films portray the primordial element of fire, connecting thematically to The Light Show exhibition's exploration of physical and symbolic representations of light in art. Organized by the DAM and curated by Laura F. Almeida, curatorial fellow for modern and contemporary art at the DAM. Suspended Fire will be on view Dec. 6, 2020, through March 7, 2021, on level 4 of the Hamilton Building.

Active as an artist throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Mendieta used her body as a way to explore ideas of identity and displacement and its connection to the earth. For Anima, Silueta de Cohetes (Firework Piece) and Untitled: Silueta Series, Mendieta created silhouettes of her body from firecrackers and a fallen tree, respectively. She set the silhouettes against darkened landscapes and lit them. In these two films, Mendieta explores fire as a symbol of renewal and transformation, creation and destruction, and presence and absence. The artist invites viewers to meditate upon life, death and the passage of time as the burning flames mesmerize us. The silhouettes, which appear suspended in space, also represent her anima, or soul. By placing them outdoors as the only source of light, Mendieta encourages viewers to think about the association between the female body and nature.