On Miami New Times' 100 Creatives list, we called artist/choreographer/dancer/sage Ana Mendez "a one-woman pyrotechnic show." That's still true, though it's more accurate these days to compare her to less hazardous elements. She's dynamic and explosive, but also connected to her surroundings in a way that's much more inclusive -- not necessarily bursting from them, but an integral part of them.
She's also expanding her practice. Over the next few months, Mendez is raising funds, via an Indiegogo campaign for two upcoming projects. Entitled the Year of the Wooden Horse, the fundraising action is named for 2014's patron animal in the Chinese zodiac and its corresponding element. The goods you'll get in return for contributing are amazing, and the projects are magical enough to inspire the spirit of giving, anyway.
The first, at her upcoming show, Fortress, at Bas Fisher International, Mendez will debut her first-ever sculptural installation. As part of the two-month show, BFI's Weird Miami bus tour will take passengers to an as yet undisclosed location, where Mendez will perform a site-specific piece, Wilderness.
The second project, Portal, is a performance at the Here and Now Festival, organized by the Miami Light Project, and featuring Steven Bristol and Ed Wilcox of the Sun Ra Arkestra alongside other amazing performers. Portal imagines the second half of the evolution that began with the Bas Fisher show. "It's the next level," says Mendez. "We are now transcending the spiritual realm and working at full capacity. We are our own shamans. We're working at a higher frequency."
Despite Mendez's emphasis on a return to a harmonious relationship with the land and an ascent into the spiritual realm, she doesn't see humanity's current way of being as necessarily problematic. "Nature is continually moving. People talk about humans like we are a disease of the planet. I think that's a mistake. All these structures we create that are supposedly 'polluting' everything are part of our natural way of being."
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