IlluminArts is Miami’s Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music series, collaborating with museums and galleries to present site specific performances inspired by the visual arts. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, IlluminArts will present “A Female Force,” at the de la Cruz Collection. The performance was inspired by the work of celebrated
Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta. Mendieta's work was largely autobiographical and focused on themes including feminism, life, identity, place and belonging. Her art provides a wealth of inspiration to be illuminated through a musical program focusing on arrangements by some of today’s most influential female composers including Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Libby Larsen. Director Alison Moritz, whom NPR has called, “A rising young star in the contemporary American opera field,” will fully stage this multimedia performance with a cast lead by Metropolitan Opera soprano and Broadway star Jennifer Zetlan, with internationally renowned soprano Emily Birsan and the sensational mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen. This celebration of art as rite and ritual will blur the line between classical music and performance art.
Mendieta’s work is unique for its hybridity of media and its assimilation of issues of cultural and spiritual identity. Her life was marked by historic social and political changes; chief among them, the exile from her beloved native country.
In 1961, at the age of 12, after Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba, Mendieta was sent to the U.S. with her sister, Raquelín. Ana Mendieta’s sister Raquelín said of Ana, “She didn’t feel any limitations to what she could do. She fought for herself and what she believed in. She didn’t feel constricted by the expectations they
had of what a woman should do.” This powerful lesson is communicated through her art. In her own words, Mendieta professed, “My exploration through my art of the relationship between myself and nature has been a clear result of my having been torn from my homeland during my adolescence.” She has said of her work, “My art is the way I re-establish the bonds that unite me to the universe. It is a return to the maternal source.”
Additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, through its Knight Arts Challenge.