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A new podcast digs into the life, work and untimely death of Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta

¿Dónde está Ana Mendieta? Where is Ana Mendieta? Ever since Havana-born artist Ana Mendieta ( Since Ana Mendieta fell to her 34 window to death, this question—and a call to action—has inspired art feminists in 34 in Greenwich Village. Before Mendieta died, neighbors heard her arguing violently with her husband, the American sculptor Carl Andre. In a paragraph 911 In the recording of the call, you can hear Andre admitting that they were, in his words, “getting out the window” before their argument. Although Andre was in 1988 was acquitted of second-degree murder, but suspicions still clouded his career as Mendieta’s supporters demanded the truth about her death.

Now, nearly 40 years after Mendieta’s death, a new six-episode podcast from Pushkin Industries, hosted by art historian Helen Molesworth, titled “Death of an Artist” — not only Focus on the mysterious circumstances surrounding Mendieta is over, but the art she creates and the life she remembers is inextricably linked to Andre’s life. Recently, Vogue Talks to Molesworth about investigating Andre’s trial, taking inspiration from other passion-driven podcasts, and what she wants listeners to look at Mendieta’s art through a new lens; read the full interview below.

What was your research process on Mendieta’s life and death?

This sounds cliché, but we’re kind of dealing with a Cold case files. Like, is there anything in there? Can we figure out what’s going on? But that quickly ran aground because the nature of a judge trial is that the judge makes the decision, not the jury, and if you’re in a judge trial acquitted, you can seal the record. Robert Katz, the journalist who covered Mendieta’s death, attended the trial every day, almost 200 with a An old tape recorder interviewing people. His archives are in Tuscany because he works as an expat in a small library there. Besides reading and interviewing a lot of people by ourselves during the pandemic, we just waited very patiently, Until someone is allowed in and figure out what’s on the table.

Did you learn about Mendieta – or want to motivate others to learn -?

I want to highlight her work, she didn’t choose to let her die. I know I want to focus on She’s working on it and trying to figure out how to do it in audio format while we can’t see pictures. I think the question I really want to ask is whether the art world is ready for a really substantive, ethical conversation about how we deal with the art created by people who have done terrible things. I don’t think I put myself on the neutral side, but I try to put myself in the way of the story, and part of that means being measured, but also being honest with your doubts, so to speak.

Are you looking for inspiration from other podcasts?

I think the one that guides me the most is Maria Garcia’s podcast called “Doing Anything for Selena.” Garcia himself is a young Chicana from Texas who loves Selena and they really came up with a story from a fan’s perspective. Garcia never shies away from acknowledging this and writing from that position, but she really just digs into why Selena is so important; it’s really real and vulnerable and personal.

What do you hope people get out of this podcast?

Well, I just think Mendieta has created this very extraordinary piece of work in a time when we don’t have a lot about #MeToo, Indigenous, Colonization and Ecofeminism right now I created it in that language, so I’d like people to take this as an opportunity to revisit this work. It’s a podcast that hopes to get people thinking about cultural ethics more broadly.



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