Drawing for Southwest Pieta
Luis Jiménez
Death Cart
Luis Tapia
Cocina Jaiteca
Larry Yañez
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Pedro Antonio Fresquís
Anima (Alma/Soul)
Ana Mendieta
Sueño (Dream: Eve before Adam)
Alfredo Arreguín
Mis Hermanos
Jesse Treviño
Granite Weaving
Jesús Bautista Moroles
Sun Mad
Ester Hernández
Farm Workers' Altar
Emanuel Martínez
Somos la Luz
Charles "Chaz" Bojórquez
The Protagonist of an Endless Story
Angel Rodríguez-Díaz

Anima (Alma/Soul)
Ana Mendieta

Cuban-born Ana Mendieta came to the United States as a child in the early 1960s and later studied at the Center for the New Performing Arts at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. Her sculpture and performance pieces reflect the influences of the international body art and performance art movements of the 1970s. She used her own body or other forms to create ephemeral sculptures that turned into performances.

Anima (Alma/Soul), a performance artwork documented by a series of five photographs, also reflects elements of her Cuban heritage. She creates a sense of drama with fire, a symbol of regeneration that is integral to Santería. This Latin American religion is a synthesis of Roman Catholicism and the Yoruban religion of West African slaves who were brought to Latin America beginning in the early sixteenth century. Many of the practices associated with Santería, such as sacred dances and the designation of deities by colorful necklaces, reflect the Yoruban religion more than Catholicism.

In Anima (Alma/Soul) the artist has constructed a female form from an armature of bamboo and fireworks. As the fireworks are lighted, the form can be seen fully illuminated. The series of photographs capture its diminishment as the fireworks are gradually extinguished. Regeneration is the central theme in this work. The use of fireworks and dancing flames reflect the regenerative nature of fire associated with the practices of Santería. The placement of the figure on a cross suggests a strong identification with Christ’s crucifixion. The sagrado corazón, or Sacred Heart of Jesus, an important Catholic symbol representing Christ’s compassion, is the last light to be extinguished in this dramatic performance piece.

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