Setting Fire to the View of Women in Politics through Ana Mendieta's Silueta en Fuego

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Authors
Deschamps, Mikenna
Advisor
Restrepo-Mesa, Sergio
Editor
Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Setting Fire to the View of Women in Politics through Ana Mendieta's Silueta en Fuego
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Through the Silueta series, a collection of silhouettes crafted in Iowa and Mexico between 1973 and 1978, the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta tells her personal story of all she endured throughout her childhood while advocating for women’s rights. One of her most influential silhouettes, the Silueta en Fuego (“Silhouette on Fire”), is a powerful depiction of a woman’s body on fire, demonstrating the drive to change how gender is perceived in politics today. Mendieta’s use of natural elements to mold her works demonstrates the connection between women and nature as both are described as symbols of beauty and strength deserving of admiration and respect. Regarding art’s form, in The Aesthetic Dimension Herbert Marcuse argues that “I see the political potential of art in art itself, in the aesthetic form as such. Furthermore, I argue that by virtue of its aesthetic form, art is largely autonomous vis a vis the given social rela­tions.” But how does the aesthetic form of a work of art participate in the political configuration of gender today? In my presentation, I will demonstrate that Ana’s use of the aesthetic form in her Silueta en Fuego personifies the power of nature and women. Also, I will prove that in Silueta en Fuego fire gives women the transformative power to change the ideas of gender diving deeper into the true essence of a woman.
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Hispanic Studies