Essentialism and Performativity in the Work of Ana Mendieta 公开

Gonzalez, Desiree Marie (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5999n3570?locale=zh
Published

Abstract

Essentialism and Performativity in the Work of Ana Mendieta
By Desiree Gonzalez
Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) created earth-body sculptures in the 1970s and 1980s, informed and influenced by the contemporaneous genres of performance, body, and earth art. Thematically, her work incorporated issues related to cultural displacement, gender, and ritual. My honors thesis attempts to understand her complex practice by looking at her work through the context of feminist theory, specifically theories of essentialism and performativity. Interpreted as a way to empower women through the reclamation of the land, these works have traditionally been considered and at times criticized for being "essentialist." Much recent scholarship on Mendieta steers away from the essentialist interpretation, instead employing Judith Butler's performativity theory as if to revalidate her work. I argue that both the essentialist and performative interpretations are valuable to understanding Mendieta's multifaceted practice. When considered together, these two critical readings highlight the coexistence of the eternal and the ephemeral in Mendieta's work. First, an overview of Mendieta's practice will contextualize her work within the conceptual frameworks of the time. Next, I investigate Mendieta's alignment with the feminist art movement. Then I look at how essentialism and performativity have been applied to readings of her work. Finally, I look at key examples from her oeuvre and consider how essentialist and performative theories can be applied to them.

Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction
1

Chapter 1: Ana Mendieta's Artistic Development
7

Chapter 2: Mendieta and the Feminist Art Movement
24

Chapter 3: Essentialism
33

Chapter 4: Performativity
46

Chapter 5: Essentialism, Performativity, and Mendieta's Work
55

Conclusion
66

Bibliography
68

Figures
72

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
关键词
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
最新修改

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files