The Feminist Movement : Ana Mendieta Essay

761 Words Dec 10th, 2015 4 Pages
The start of 1960’s feminist movement was characterized by the use of extreme art to combat the concept of gender hierarchy. Ana Mendieta was one of the first feminists to draw attention to the way gender categorizes individuals. Using her body as the subject of her art pieces, Mendieta tried to “emphasize the societal conditions by which the female body is colonized,” objectified, and ravaged through “masculine aggression” (Cabanas 12). In 1973, she performed her famous piece, “Sweating Blood” (Cabanas 12). In this piece, Mendieta stands motionless against a black background, absorbed into her thoughts. Blood slowly oozes down the top of her head, encroaching and creeping into every crevice in her skin (Figure 2). It wraps around the side of her face as if it is devouring her. Closing her eyes, she accepts reality. The potency within this piece brings up the topic: how women are seen in the eyes of others. By methodically covering her head in blood, she purposely draws attention to her face. In a way, she is expressing the idea that the concept of a “female” is impermanent and easily injured. The blood signifies the pain she feels, while her face expresses both resistance and acceptance of the situation- something she is forced to do as a woman in society. This deconstruction of stereotypical ideals “hinges on the awareness that ‘Woman,’ as object[s], [are] a culturally constructed category” (Forte 220).
Mendieta’s performance worked to depict that the treatment of women…

Related Documents