D.O.A.M Series (The Death of Ana Mendieta)
D.O.A.M III was show at the Royal West Academy Drawing Biannual 2015.
D.O.A.M IV was shortlisted for the Lumen Prize and International Tour 2016/7. It will also be showing in "Queering Minimalism" in July/August 2017.
The D.O.A.M series is an ongoing collection of work (CAD drawings, projections, public sculpture and moving image) in response to the death of the artist Ana Mendieta and concerns with gender based violence.
D.O.A.M I (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2017-2018
Expanded Cinema and VR installation
Expanded Cinema / VR installation using CAD generated and archival footage. Currently in early production due for completion early 2018.
D.O.A.M II (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2017-2018
Weathering Steel and Digitally Controlled Light | 9m x 9m x 3m
Public Sculpture / Gallery Installation
The light pierces the 2 cuts in the upright structure projecting itself onto surfaces opposite. In public natural light is used, in a gallery the light is simulated using live data feeds from the exact location in New York.
D.O.A.M III (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2014 | CAD Drawing (Rendered)
Framed: 200cm x 85cm ( 78" x 33") UnFramed: 168cm x 56cm ( 66" x 22")
D.O.A.M III (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2014 | CAD Drawing
D.O.A.M III (The Death of Ana Mendieta) is a CAD rendering of the death scene of the artist Ana Mendieta. Using witness accounts, meteorological, astronomical, and other collated data, this large scale CAD drawing is a precise recreation of the death scene of Ana Mendieta on 8th September 1985 07:30 (local time). Ana Mendieta fell 34 floors to her death at around 05:30, her body was removed at around 06:30. The drawing recreates the light and shadow marking the spot one hour after the removal of her body. The scene was never documented.
This event created a schism in the NY art world that questioned its morality and artists loyalties which continues today and questions attitudes towards gender based violence.
This work is beautifully sublime. It has distilled a huge amount of data into a minimal form that conveys the sentiment of the message. Ironically as Carl Andre would say "Art is the exclusion of the unnecessary"
D.O.A.M IV (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2014 - 2015
CAD Drawing (Rendered) | Projected and Digital Manifestations
D.O.A.M IV (the Death of Ana Mendieta) | 2014-2015 | Gallery Projection
Extract from a conversation at the Royal West Acadamy
What connects your medium (CAD) to the subject matter?
Initially I was using CAD as a tool to mock up ideas for a film installation I wanted to construct about the death of Ana Mendieta. My idea was to develop two strong and distinct visual languages, narrativising each side of the story through sound. I was exploring the possibility of constructing a language out of nothing - a virtual language - devoid of materiality and soulless.
CAD also allowed me to process much of the data that I had gathered from my research. I meticulously reconstructed the death scene from witness accounts, meteorological, astronomical and other collated data. I then modelled the light over a period. The final image arrived as I was recreating sunrise, one hour after Anas’ body was removed and noticed how the light caught the indent of the area where she fell. I found this a very poignant moment, very moving. This is the final image.
Supporting Notes for D.O.A.M III
The death of the artist Ana Mendieta was a shocking event that split the artworld in New York in 1985. Ana allegedly fell 34 floors to her death from Carl Andres’ Manhattan apartment at 5:30am. He was acquitted of any wrongdoing, but the facts never really added up casting a permanent shadow on the outcome.
Even though it happened 30 years ago, it shares patterns with contemporary gender based violence which is a common concern in my work. There are usually no witness, friends and relatives of both parties take sides and lawyers try to find loopholes to clear the accused. The events are narrativized by different voices and change over time - the stronger voices winning. I wanted to add to Ana’s voice.
I wanted to make a piece that responded to all my research on this subject. I was fascinated that the death scene was never properly documented and photographed, ironically given that much of Ana’s work involved photographing her body in almost deathly poses. I was also interested in the timings of the events. That it all happened under the cover of night. She fell in the darkness and her body was removed just before sunrise.
I used CAD software to faithfully recreate the building and orientation. I wanted to simulate and study the light conditions from the time she fell to after the body was removed. This was a journey through three phases of twilight ending at sunrise when the scene had been cleared.
I used rendering software in conjunction with CAD to recreate the relative position (altitude and azimuth) of the sun during that period. I also used meteorological and astronomical data to simulate the lighting conditions, the ozone and turbidity in the city, to see how the light would diffuse.
The scene was stripped back to the bare minimum - the exclusion of the unnecessary. [See ft 1 & 2]
As I was modelling the light coming up in NY that morning, after the body had been removed, I noticed the sunlight just catching the edge of the indent, where Ana’s body had been. I found this very poignant, the single, silent, still image, spoke volumes to me and became the final piece. The final image was printed the exact length of Carl Andre's body.
1. “Art is the exclusion of the unnecessary” Carl Andre
2. “Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing, By Elimination, By emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things” Georgia O'Keeffe.