No living artist working today has done more to promote the cause of feminist art than Carolee Schneemann. She sought to give female artists a new aesthetic language that did not emanate from the prevailing male-dominated Abstract Expressionism of the time. Schneemann's body became a source of art production, itself a confrontational medium with which to endorse personal liberation and counteract the oppressive social milieu. She herself… Read more
About the artwork
This striking suite of photographic prints documents Schneemann's powerful performance of her groundbreaking work Interior Scroll. Focusing on the female body as a source of creativity and knowledge, Schneemann's work is very much linked to the women's movement of the 1970s. The artist reads from a scroll that she gradually draws from her vagina, quite literally giving birth to text, appropriating the written word for women. The scroll itself contains a dialogue contrasting intuition and embodiedness—traditionally seen as "female"—with the "male" notions of order and rationality. Using her own body as a site for artistic investigation, Schneemann remarked on this piece, "I thought of the vagina in many ways – physically, conceptually: as a sculptural form, an architectural referent, the source of sacred knowledge, ecstasy, birth passage, transformation." This landmark work brilliantly captures Schneemann's unique approach to feminist art.
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