Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sweating Blood

Ana Mendieta, Sweating Blood, Super-8 color, 1973 is not a matter of the text remembering the body; it is rather the body that doubles itself in the text--it makes the ink bleed, in-corp-orates words. Moreover, the flowing that occurs here does not move in one direction, neither from the body to language nor from language to the body. Rather words and blood move across the seam that cuts origin from destination, inside from outside, literal from metaphoric, life from death, oblivion from memory; they move back and forth across the body's boundary. They go in; they go out. They tear and wound. They slip and run. It is in that seam and what plays across it, and not in the archive and what it saves, that the body is remembered.
--Jane Blocker, What the Body Cost

The name of this blog is borrowed from a 1973 work by Ana Mendieta. In the work, Mendieta sits silently as blood from a large cow's heart drips slowly over the surface of her face. The blood marks and becomes the language of the work as Mendieta's mouth remains mute. She is inside ritual and we bear witness to her solemn and sacred action. Body based performance evokes a powerful link to primal and primitive body knowledge. With this blog, I hope to address works that engage the body, language, and ritual. After years of bemoaning the lack of critical inquiry in contemporary art, I'm finally taking the leap to bring my voice to the subject. More soon...

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