2.26.2008

Carolee Schneemann



Carolee Schneemann performing Interior Scroll



Certain individuals are mostly interested in what such-and-such looks like (does the brain become "homesick"? - "but homesick for what?" in response), but if there is anything paralleling such cancerous wit, there must be a "corrective punctuation" somewhere (without stultifying the subjectory), without via the William Shatner-like talkative "song" [roar!]; art should only be addressed if personal-need be it debated or discussed (end the censoring, in any case, for the "female condition!").

A few years ago I came across Carolee Schneemann who is essentially "famous for [her . . .] fundamental contribution to the body" of the once controversially-experimental masterpiece (my own opinion) [and highly-poetic impressionism] "Interior Scroll." The eroticism here, could it perhaps be, a visual presumptuousness? One is often forced from Language by its ever-growing repetiveness, and not only this mindful-comeliness, but the "intimidation-factor" that oscillates between individuals whom teach it (or repress it) to others. For "Interior Scroll," there is a "dionysiaque sexuality" here; a "correspondence and fetichisation of (women), in which the concept, the idea, the physical-occurence lies upon a variety of taboos - a "vulvar space" and a "visceral experiment of the flesh." As ART AND FEMINISM states: "Your Body is a Battlefield."



Interior Scroll
Performance, 1975



From site: "Performed in East Hampton, NY and at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado. Schneemann ritualistically stood naked on a table, painted her body with mud until she slowly exracted a paper scroll from her vagina while reading from it."

Carolee's explanation: "I thought of the vagina in many ways -- physically, conceptually: as a sculptural form, an architectural referent, the sources of sacred knowledge, ecstasy, birth passage, transformation. I saw the vagina as a translucent chamber of which the serpent was an outward model: enlivened by it's passage from the visible to the invisible, a spiraled coil ringed with the shape of desire and generative mysteries, attributes of both female and male sexual power. This source of interior knowledge would be symbolized as the primary index unifying spirit and flesh in Goddess worship."

I think that her work goes beyond just the term "Art." Another piece of hers that really turns me up and down like some botanical garden, is her own personal body-garden known as Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions.


C. Schneemann's Portrait Partials, 1963

The fuses, the dreamorphologies, the meaty landscapes and experimental monickers of haphazard-beauty ("testing the limits") are all like suave leaves of abstract forests. One of the most powerful (and one of the least known, for the most part) polyartists of all-time. Look into her work and you will see how this woman's work has provided "fuel" for many generations afterwards.




Carolee Schneemann, from More Wrong Things, 2001

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