The title “Covered in Time and History” is apt for a collection of works by Ana Mendieta, whose art thoughtfully probed the past as if swimming through time. But it should not be understood as affixing her radically multidisciplinary practice to a single historical moment. Although Mendieta died tragically young, her work resonates loudly today through the way it questions borders — investigating migration, assimilation, and intersectional identity. Covered in Time and History
, which opens at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2155 Center St., Berkeley) on November 9 and runs through January 15, will showcase twenty-one of Mendieta’s rarely screened films alongside related photographs in the largest grouping of the artist’s cinematic works ever presented in the United States. For many, it’s a highly anticipated exhibition — especially those who believe that Mendieta’s deadly thirty-four-story fall was intentional murder by her husband Carl Andre. The famous minimalist’s work is still shown widely across the world, but often not without female protestors dousing themselves in fake blood at the steps of the given institution, demanding justice for Mendieta. Covered in Time and History
is a welcome reminder that Mendieta’s artistic brilliance cannot be eclipsed by her controversial death.