I remember the first time I encountered Ana Mendieta’s work, shamefully it was only 2 years ago, whereby I was instantly captivated by the vulnerability and expression she used from within herself to create such beautiful imagery. Her performance within her work dabbles into concepts of identity, gender and the male gaze. She enables a new representation of the female & it’s body. Providing a voice which is outside the language of the dominant male (reference to Luce Irigary is strongly advised for that one, so i’ll fill you in a bit more**). By looking at Mendieta and the way she retells herself, as a female, we can all agree this is in no way media influenced. Thank the Lord. There is no ideal beauty, no ‘Hello, Look at me expressing my nudity so you can get all happy.’ or even ‘Here’s my nudity for all you women out there that will now feel the need to compete/be jealous of my ‘twerktastic’ ass.’ The ideology of the ‘woman’ has been retold outside of the patriarchal ideas from the male, not every male no. But, i’m simply pointing out the general rule of thumb that has been presented from a patriarchal point of view. So before anyone thinks i’m being a sassy I hate men feminist, that is not the case. Ana Mendieta is simply questioning such ideology provided too that of the woman by experimenting with her roles as a human being within the world.
From becoming one with nature, using her body to camouflage, leaving imprints and tracks to addressing new forms of how the body can be seen and reformed. The role of the female body is addressed in many ways that it stands up too the enforced concepts which is held up to women today. She is not committing to their ideas, expressing what is already held up to us. Which a lot of feminist artists tend to jump onto. We no longer need to see what we are told. We need to see what breaks this ideology. Suggesting new was of percieving and connecting.
So I suggest you look more into Ana Mendieta if you haven’t already. And fall in love with the way she presents such a delicate formation of what a ‘woman’ is.
** Luce Irigary= A theorist that talks a lot about language and patriarchy and the male dominance it holds. It’s a pretty long winded concept and sends you around in circles. However, she makes a fine point that the language we use is pretty controlling and by addressing Freud tells us how women do not have a proper ideology. They are always seen as being a ‘lack of’ masculinity. Thanks to his Opediex complex and not really understanding the female body. The ideology of women has been given from men. So, it allows them to control it quite easily, but how can they truly know something in which they are not. Leading too many issues today within society and the media… but that calls for another blog post.