22 November 2010

MAYA MENDIETA: LA UNICA


These are my three favorite artists. The three of them have had an enormous influence on my practice as an artist and my life: Unica Zürn in my drawing and writing; Maya Deren as both a filmmaker and as a dancer (both of which are what I am mainly focusing my energy on); and Ana Mendieta's work made me think about my body as material from which to work from, and inspired me to work with performative photography.
All three women met unfortunate ends:
  • Unica Zürn, after being diagnosed with depression in 1957, kept writing until 1970, when she jumped out of her Parisian apartment's window. 
  • At the age of 44, Maya Deren died from a brain hemorrhage in 1961, brought on by more than fifteen years of speed and anorexia. 
  • Eight months after marrying the minimalist Carl Andre, Ana Mendieta mysteriously fell from her 34th floor apartment in 1985, at the age of 36. Andre was tried for her murder, but as there were no witnesses, he was acquitted. (New York Times article from 1990 on the circumstances around Mendieta's death.)

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