Sometime between 3:30am and 5:30am on the morning of September 8, 1985, the artist Ana Mendieta "went out the window" of her 34th floor New York City apartment. She died on impact. Mendieta was 36 years old at the time of her death. Her husband, minimalist sculptor Carl Andre, was tried and acquitted of murder. Andre remains the sole witness to the events of that night.
Variations is a video and performance re-enacting the night of Ana Mendieta's death. Playing the role of the director, I work with actors to workshop three scenes based on conflicting statements made by Carl Andre as to the events that led to Mendieta's death. Through improvisation and discussion we attempt to recreate possibilities of what happened this fateful night. Audience members participate by offering opinions and suggestions for the actors and director. The piece is an attempt to find a plausible scenario for Mendieta's death and to investigate general notions of revisionist history. Variations was performed live at Pioneer Works, where it was filmed for a video piece. A series of handset letterpresses transcribed from audience responses accompanies the work. Variations is currently on view at the Hedreen Gallery in Seattle.
Variations was made with the generous support and assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts.