“Not a Nature Lover” by Val Sivilli
This is a one of a kind book hand bound by Val Sivilli. It contains a series of paintings with corresponding text. It is 10" x 12" and 1" thick. It is acrylic on canvas, with text pages mounted onto the canvas. Each page is sewn. The book is chain stitched with Waxed Linen.
Ana Mendieta was a Performance Artist. She would bury herself naked in a pile of leaves then and burn her silhouette’s impression creating a body shaped shrine of herself in the woods videotaping the entire process. When I was an art student, Ana Mendieta visited my school and gave a talk about her work. After she finished her presentation, she took questions. Mike, one of my classmates, raised his hand to speak.
(FYI: This interchange happened a long time ago, so it is DEFINITELY NOT verbatim. But, bear with me, I will try me best to recall the conversation.)
MIKE: “ I have spend a lot of time in the woods making sculptures and finding art that other people have made. When I am alone in the woods, I might put some branches in a formation, stack some rocks or create a shelter.”
ANA: “That sounds nice, but what is your question?”
MIKE: “I find that the real joy of these pieces are that they are found by anyone who is walking in the woods. Sometimes they are intact, sometimes they have disintegrated. But always, it is that magical moment of being in the woods and stumbling upon them that makes them so special, so authentic.”
ANA: “And… What is your point?”
MIKE: “It seems to me that you are making these sculptures specifically to document them and to show them in fancy galleries. They are not genuinely about the connection to the earth. They are fakes. They are constructed and manipulated solely for the art world.
ANA: “ Well, I don’t know what to tell you. I am an artist, not a nature lover.”
Not long after this, Ana Mendieta either threw herself out the window of her Greenwich Village apartment or had been thrown out by her sculptor husband, Carl Andre.