Atomic Mediation: Ana Mendieta's Figures of Speech

Carrie Reese - Lecture poster - Feb. 27 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 4:00pm
Carrie Reese, 2018-2019 NFC Doctoral Fellow 
Northrop Frye Centre, VC102, Old Vic, 91 Charles st. West

Ana Mendieta’s short film X-Ray (1975) unsettles viewers as the monotone phonetic screams that accompany it emphasize the disjunctive nature of the film’s figure. Deriving from a chapter of my dissertation on the Cuban-American artist's intermedial artworks, this talk will focus on the questions that this film, and intermedial practice at large, produce. These questions include how the figure in Mendieta’s work functions and what it teaches us; how X-ray technologies and speech pathology materials used in the film change the way we might think of the silhouetted figure that abounds in her work; and how the role of the atom moves from Mendieta’s work with the body to her history with Cuba and the Cold War. Using Mendieta as a way to open up conversations about violence, politics, and interdisciplinary media, I propose that the figural and linguistic modes that occupy Mendieta’s X-Ray show how intermedia artwork, as it engages interdisciplinary thought, may register theoretical and political potential that comes about solely through the process of mediation—and intermediation at that.

Carrie Reese is a doctoral candidate at the Cinema Studies Institute. Her research interests lie at the intersection of experimental film and media, continental philosophy, intermediality, and the concept of violence. Linking the work of experimental artist Ana Mendieta to these ideas, her dissertation focuses on the ways in which Mendieta's work can change current methods of approaching media theory and philosophy. Carrie is an assistant editor of World Picture Journal and has published in an anthology titled "Jouer l'actrice" with Ecole normale supérieure.

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