Ana Mendieta (1948-1985)
Untitled (Fetish Series, Iowa)
Fetish Series, Iowa
Overall: 20 × 13 1/4 in. (50.8 × 33.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
©Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection
Ana Mendieta described her actions in the landscape as “earth-body” works, subtle interventions in nature in which she integrated her naked form or created its silhouette using found materials. Fascinated by cross-cultural archetypes, Mendieta frequently appropriated symbols and aspects of ceremonial practices from African, Afro-Cuban, ancient European, and Taino (Amerindian) traditions, turning them into something that was a “reflection of herself.” Her Silueta Series and Fetish Series—hundreds of individual works executed between 1973 and 1980, primarily in Iowa and Mexico—are among her most celebrated bodies of work. In these ritualistic works, executed in private and for the camera, Mendieta covered her body with flowers and earth, drawing her outline with rocks, grasses, and vines, and subjecting it to the elements. Untitled (Fetish Series, Iowa), comprises a figural mound embedded in the ground, pierced with sticks, and surrounded by a moat of water.