Memory Window for Anastacia


Since the late 1960s, Saar has used discarded window frames like this one in her art. Here, she pays homage to a figure of legend venerated in Brazil: the blue-eyed, black-skinned Anastacia. Though expunged in the 1980s by the Brazilian Catholic Church, Anastacia was embraced by the local Umbanda religion, which combines aspects of Catholicism, Spiritism, and African and indigenous Brazilian belief systems. Copper coils on nails emerge from the window frame, suggesting psychic power or energy. The copper circuit boards used as a support evoke another form of energy generation and circulation.

Betye Saar
Memory Window for Anastacia, 1994
Paint on copper circuit boards in wood window frame, with metal ornaments and copper wire–covered nails
Private collection, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.© Betye Saar.
Robert Wedemeyer

Audio: Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles