Exiled space, in‐between space: existential spatiality in Ana Mendieta'sSiluetasSeries

Philosophy and Geography 7 (1):25-41 (2004)
Existential space is lived space, space permeated by our raced, gendered selves. It is representative of our very existence. The purpose of this essay is to explore the intersection between this lived space and art by analyzing the work of the Cuban?born artist Ana Mendieta and showing how her Siluetas Series discloses a space of exile. The first section discusses existential spatiality as explained by the phenomenologists Heidegger and Watsuji and as represented in Mendieta's Siluetas. The second section analyzes the space of exile as a space of in?between?ness and borders. Lastly, the third section discusses temporality as it relates to the space of exile. Through the analysis of Mendieta's Siluetas, and in light of phenomenological accounts of space and the works of Anzaldúa and Mignolo, Ana Mendieta herself is disclosed as well as the space characteristic of those who can no longer be said to have a ?home.? My exploration through my art of the relationship between myself and nature has been a clear result of my having been torn from my homeland during my adolescence. The making of my Silueta in nature keeps (makes) the transition between my homeland and my new home. It is a way of reclaiming my roots and becoming one with nature. Although the culture in which I live is part of me, my roots and cultural identity are a result of my Cuban heritage.1 ??Ana Mendieta Living in a state of psychic unrest, in a Borderland, is what makes poets write and artists create.2 ??Gloria Anzaldúa
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DOI 10.1080/1090377042000196001
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