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Homage to Ana Mendieta – Filmed Life Performance

 ” While I may not possess the same skill in land art as Ana Mendieta, it is crucial to speak out against violence towards women and the persistent downplaying of such incidents. I was vacationing and visiting my attic studio in a rural German beach town when I came across an advertisement for the work of the New York-based artist Ana Mendieta. Ana died on September 8th, 1985, under mysterious circumstances, falling out of the window of her Greenwich Village apartment following an argument with her famous artist partner. Although no one else was present and we can only speculate legally, the circumstances surrounding Ana’s death remain highly suspicious….”









On September 25th, 2021, Esther Boesche, spoke about violence and abuse against girls and women on a beach near Cuxhaven, Germany, during a filmed live performance and homage to Ana Mendieta. Through her performance, the artist aims to honor Ana and critique how little is done to protect women from abuse and violence. Particularly in Germany, the consequences for the nearly exponentially rising violence against women and girls are minimal, and victim statistics are evidently and frequently downplayed. During the performance recording, the artist highlighted how often women are confronted by male microaggressions and belittling in both public and private spaces—a subject still far from broader public awareness or discussion. “Where does the violence start?” The artist asks, explaining that it begins with neglect and the downplaying of violence and aggression against women. In the artists view, this ignorance or bystander-ism fosters an environment of “how far can we go/what can we get away with.”

Initially, Esther Boesche was vacationing and working on some large-scale pieces at her German attic studio, choosing creative solitude over the hustle and bustle of the Art Basel fair. It was then that she came across a social media post advertising Ana’s work included in the fair. To the artists shock, the representatives of Ana’s estate wrote that “Ana’s life was interrupted too early,” completely avoiding the well-known mysterious and obscure circumstances surrounding her death. “I had to do something to express my pain and disappointment,” said the artist explaining the motivation behind the performance. Early at 7 am, Esther Boesche met with a local filmmaker at the beach to recreate one of Ana’s silhouettes during the tide. The tide, a special natural phenomenon caused by gravity and orchestrated by the moon, pulls coastal water back into the ocean, exposing part of the ocean floor for a few hours each day. This allows people to walk on the ocean sand briefly.

“The decision to place my homage to Ana in the ocean symbolizes a metaphor. The tide is fleeting and impermanent, much like a human life; we are only here for a short time. Ana’s life wasn’t just interrupted—it was washed away prematurely under very questionable circumstances.”  It seems fitting to put the performance into the ocean ground where it will be washed away after a few hours, mirroring Ana’s life. She was a young, very talented artist working on her career in New York when suddenly everything—her life, ambitions, friendships, and dreams—was washed away in an instant.