Opening Hours

Full opening hours


Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Phone +353 1 6129900

View Map

Find us by

Join us for a discussion and film screenings on the radically experimental work of Ana Mendieta (American, born, Cuba. 1948–1985) with special guest Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, who will screen two short documentaries, Ana Mendieta, Nature Inside and Whispering Cave. This event offers reflection on the continued significance of Ana Mendieta’s work, the artist’s connection to the Earth, and why the artist was a true pioneer of Performance Art.

Interrogating themes of memory, history, displacement, and rebirth, Ana Mendieta used her body as her instrument when conducting more than 200 performative and ephemeral ‘sculptures’ (which she called siluetas). Through methods of burning, carving, or planting, Mendieta sought to ‘become one with the earth’, moulding the outlines of her body onto the soil of Iowa, Mexico, and from 1980, Cuba. In this programme of selected films and a moderated discussion we look at what remains of Ana Mendieta’s earth-body sculptures. Raquel Cecilia’s documentary, Ana Mendieta, Nature Inside, uses the artist’s voice to highlight the meanings and themes behind her works. Whispering Cave chronicles the filmmaker’s research and mission to locate her aunts “lost” works in Jaruco, Cuba. 

We are delighted to welcome Raquel Cecilia as a special guest, who in addition to her work as a filmmaker and writer, is also the Administrator for the Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection and has overseen the digital restoration of Ana Mendieta’s works on film and video. Film screenings conclude with a discussion and Q&A with Raquel Cecilia on the making of her two films working with Mendieta’s archive and how her research led her to making connections in Ireland.

Programmed in association with the opening weekend of a major new exhibition Take a Breath.

Screening Detail

Screening Time: 2pm – 2.30pm
Location: Lecture Room
Free, Drop-in

Ana Mendieta – Nature Inside A film by Raquel Cecilia, documentary, color, sound: 8:23 min. Artist, Ana Mendieta, narrates as corresponding images of her work in both still and moving images highlight her themes and meanings behind her work. The documentary includes several Super 8mm film clips from previously unseen Mendieta filmworks, which were scanned to 2K/HD in 2014.

Whispering Cave A film by Raquel Cecilia, documentary, 27 min. In 1981, the renowned artist Ana Mendieta created several sculptures in the caves of Jaruco, Cuba at two different sites. Art historians and close friends of the artist have long presumed that one of the sites had been destroyed. In 2015, the artist’s niece, filmmaker Raquel Cecilia, visits Jaruco and stumbles upon a clue to the lost caves’ existence. Led by intuition and research, she returns to Jaruco two years later, and with the help of two Cuban artists, her young daughter, and the Director of Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the filmmaker journeys through the Cuban countryside in search of the truth. Using her aunt’s Super 8 footage and photographs as a guide, Raquel retraces her footsteps, ultimately reconnecting her with her aunt and her legacy.

About Artist

Ana Mendieta
In a brief yet prolific career, the Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta® created ground-breaking work in photography, film, video, drawing, sculpture, and site-specific installations. Amongst the major themes in her work are exile, displacement, and a return to the landscape, which remain profoundly relevant today. Her unique hybrid of form and documentation, works that she titled “siluetas,” are fugitive and potent traces of the artist’s inscription of her body in the landscape, often transformed by natural elements such as fire and water.

The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC, in collaboration with Galerie Lelong & Co., catalogued and digitized the entirety of Mendieta’s moving image works, discovering that the artist remarkably made more than 100 in the ten-year period in which she worked in the medium. The ground-breaking exhibition of her moving image works, Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta, was organized by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota in 2014, and has since travelled to several institutions worldwide, including NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Florida; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris. In 2023, the major solo exhibition Ana Mendieta: Search for Origin was held at MO.CO Montpellier Contemporain, France and will travel to MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain and Musée des beaux-arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

Mendieta’s work has been the subject of six major museum retrospectives, Ana Mendieta: Traces, was organized by the Hayward Gallery, England, in 2013, and travelled to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, and the Galerie Rudolfinum, Czech Republic. Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972-1985 was organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., in 2005 and travelled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; and Miami Art Museum, Florida.

Mendieta was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1948, and died in New York City in 1985. More details here

About Speakers

Raquel Cecilia is an independent filmmaker and writer best known for her recent films on her aunt, artist Ana Mendieta. Her films have screened at film festivals and art museums world-wide, such as Frameline in San Francisco, BFI’s Flare Festival in London, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, the Jeu de Paume in Paris and most recently at MO.CO., Panacée, in Montpellier, France and SESC Pompéia, São Paulo, Brazil. Raquel has published numerous essays about Ana Mendieta in art catalogues and is the Administrator for the Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection. She is currently finishing a feature length documentary about the life and art of Ana Mendieta.

About Exhibition

Take a Breath, 14 June 2024 – 17 March 2025
Take a Breath is a major exhibition that tracks the impact of air pollution from industrialisation to modern-day wars and how that effects our environment, our health and how we live. The act of breathing is central to existence, we inhale and exhale unconsciously, it gives voice through language and speech. The exhibition will explore the suppression of protests of voices from different communities, breath as a symbol of distinct voices, community, and resistance. Moving to the personal, the use of breath as meditation to move from the external to the internal, to consciously influence your breathing in daily life and focus on the present. For further details click here.