Wounded: The Materialization of Pain and Violence in the Artwork of Doris Salcedo and Ana Mendieta

Date
2023
Authors
Pompa, Iliana
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Abstract

This thesis analyzes the Atrabiliarios and Silueta series by Doris Salcedo and Ana Mendieta respectively. These artworks are presented in conversation with multiple artworks by Salcedo and Mendieta such as Untitled (Rape Scene), 1973, and La Casa Viuda, 1992-1995. I also discuss their artwork with that of conceptual artist Teresa Margolles in order to contextualize their artwork and compare it with an artist that chooses a more direct approach to representing violence. The artworks of Salcedo and Mendieta are haunting, leaving images of pain and violence enacted upon women on view for the world to see. These artworks act as memories for the victims of gender violence within Latin America and beyond. Although Salcedo's and Mendieta's artistic development are distinct, with each artist pulling from regional cultural experiences (Colombia and Cuba), the artists create artwork in similar ways. Both Salcedo and Mendieta mark space and time through the utilization of found objects and the incorporation of a corporeal being. Each artist's work can be analyzed through the lens of memory mapping, a theoretical framework utilized to understand the way memory is created through visual art in order to understand complex sociopolitical events. Although each work is not created for a singular victim, both works feel personal, being void of identity leaves room for the viewer to project themselves into the constructed experience.

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Keywords
Gender, Pain, Violence, Atrabiliarios, Conceptual artist, Complex sociopolitical events
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Department
Art and Art History