Searching for Mendieta; variations on a story

Artist Elise Rasmussen presents her work "Variations" with video documentation by Alize Zorlutuna from her project, "The Presence of Absence: In Searching for Mendieta". Moderated by SUM co-curator, Reena Katz aka Radiodress.

"Variations" is a video re-enacting the night of artist Ana Mendieta's death. Mendieta died on September 8, 1985, falling out of the 34th story window of the apartment she shared with her husband, sculptor Carl Andre. Andre was tried and acquitted of murder and remains the sole witness to the events of that night. In the video, Elise Rasmussen acts as director working with actors Karina Arroyave Mendieta and Harry Chambarry Andre to workshop three scenes based on conflicting statements made by Carl Andre regarding the events of that fateful night. Through improvisation and audience participation, the actors attempt to find a plausible scenario for Mendieta's death while investigating the notion of revisiting and revising history.

Alize's project "In the Presence of Absence" focuses on Mendieta's El Laberinto de Venus, carved at The Guild in 1982. Her gestures and walks throughout the show build connection with land, migration, settlement and strategies for how to honour cultural roots and the roots of this place.