Coffee Series

Coffee Burials | entierros

Photo by Adam Pivirotto

Photo by Adam Pivitotto

coffee body | cuerpo de café

a study on Ana Mendieta

  1. I lay coffee beans on grass

  2. I lay my body on top of them and leave an imprint of my body

  3. I create a negative of that imprint

I put my body in the imagined place of my grandmother’s dead body. I become her body, my body, and the absence of body.


When I was five years old, my grandmother Nubia sat me down at the kitchen table and taught me to drink coffee. The coffee tasted bitter and it was hot. My grandmother used to say that in our family only the women survive; that the men always die, or we kill them. “Add sugar until it tastes good”, Nubia would say to me, “add more sugar.” Nubia died of lung cancer. Sometimes I dream that she is buried in a field of coffee beans. Not dead, no. More like, like sleeping. Sometimes I also dream that the one who’s dead is me. I dream that I die. That one moment I’m standing, and all of a sudden I let myself fall backwards. And I fall slowly, peacefully. And I hit the floor, and my cranium opens at the back and all my blood begins to spill out. The floor is hot, but it doesn’t burn me. It’s a clean hit. And I’m quiet. All my blood flows out and I fall asleep. And I’m at peace, sleeping. And soon if I die, I too will be enveloped in a field of coffee beans, like Nubia. Bitter and warm, like my grandmother’s tinto.