Ana Mendieta. She Got Love, is a large-scale European retrospective devoted to the Cuban-born American artist, Ana Mendieta. The exhibition at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, curated by Beatrice Merz and Olga Gambari, aims to retrace the artist as a pioneer of performance, video, body art, photography, land art, and sculpture in the twentieth century. One of Mendieta’s unique contributions is a synthesis of these forms into a fresh, visual language which has influenced a generation of younger artists. In more than one hundred of Mendieta’s works produced between 1972 and 1985, the exhibition presents her extremely personal vocabulary that combines the visionary and material, magical and poetic, and political and progressive.
The exhibition corresponds with the occasion of the world premiere of Itali-ana, Mendieta in Rome, a documentary on Mendieta’s artistic development during her years in residence at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. The film, produced by Corazon Pictures and directed by Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, will be screened throughout the exhibition.
Mendieta’s identity as a female informed her work as an artist, beginning with her childhood cultural roots in Cuba to her development as an iconic female artist in the United States. She addressed issues such as individual existence, life and death, violence, love, sex, re-birth, and exile in a coherent manner that is transcendent towards the universal and spiritual. Often inserting her body in nature, Mendieta worked in different environments from Cuba to the United States to Italy, investigating both personal and collective origins. A recurrent distinctive sign in all her works is a typical feminine silhouette or “siluetta”, an essential self-portrait created from earth, mud, feathers, flowers, leaves, ash, gunpowder, branches, shells, grass, ice, rock, wax, moss, sand, blood, water, and fire.
Each of her performances are presented as a profound and enveloping environment described through video, sketches, photographs, and notes, providing both mental and physical access to the original location of the work.