Ana Mendieta and Michelle Stuart, 'A Body Measured Against the Earth', Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

21 August 2018 - 7 April 2019


The artists in A Body Measured Against the Earth stage encounters between the earth and the body—the primary tool at their disposal—to understand the land and their relationship to it. Ranging from physical interventions in the ground to conceptual documentations of travel and labor, their divergent practices reject a totalizing or objective view of the landscape, instead favoring embodied investigations of specific places, histories, and ideals. In the process, the artists recognize land “not as scenery, but as the spaces and systems we inhabit, a system our own lives depend upon.” (Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, 47.)


Titled after a quote from ecofeminist author and critic Rebecca Solnit, A Body Measured Against the Earth is drawn largely from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago's collection. It takes inspiration from the ephemeral “earth-body” works staged by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta in the 1970s and weaves legacies of land art and “walking art” with more recent work in conceptual photography and the moving image.


Artists include: Vito Acconci, Jeanne Dunning, Hamish Fulton, Regina José Galindo, Maria Gaspar, Nancy Holt, Richard Long, Ana Mendieta, Richard Misrach, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Michelle Stuart, Elizabeth M. Webb and Carrie Mae Weems. 


The exhibition is organized by Jared Quinton, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. It is presented in the Cohen and Stone Family Galleries on the museum’s fourth floor.


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 

220 E Chicago Ave


IL 60611