Performance resists the balanced circulation of finance.
saves nothing; it only spends.
- Peggy Phelan, Unmarked
For me, Ana Mendieta is an artist who is herself "unbaptized," in the sense
that she and her work are as yet unclaimed by historical discourse. In
imagining her thus, I find myself in the contradictory position of want-
ing to save her both through history and from history. My task has been
to produce a narrative for her, to legitimize her work, to claim a space
for her in the art historical canon. It has been to answer the question,
"Where?" Yet I know that the answer may not satisfy, that it is wrong to
argue "that communities of the hitherto under-represented will be made
stronger if representational economies reflect and see them."
The urge
to locate Mendieta dangerously assumes that securing a place in the his-
tory of art necessarily translates into increased power, an assumption to
which many women and artists of color have fallen victim. So, at the same
time that I have tried to historicize her, my work has tried to protect her
from the sometimes stifling, limiting effects of historical discourse. Thus,
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