Carolee Schneemann Finally Gets Her Due

F64b37288c48f669aa675938b0b38f29dcde1bc5Jillian Steinhauer at The New Republic:

If you know one thing about Carolee Schneemann, chances are it’s that, during a performance in the 1970s, she pulled a scroll out of her vagina and read the text on it aloud. She actually did this twice—once in 1975 and again two years later, with a different scroll each time. Those performances, both titled Interior Scroll, have come to define her career.It’s not hard to see why. The work seems to distill perfectly Schneemann’s concerns over the last more than 60 years: the liberation of the female body, the celebration of the vagina, the possibility for a woman to be both artistic subject and object, the effects of patriarchy and sexism. Both of the texts Schneemann inscribed on her scrolls are drawn from other artworks she’d been working on at the time, but they also function as feminist treatises; both offer sharp commentary on the way women’s work is often belittled. The first, excerpted from her book Cézanne, She Was a Great Painter (1975), reads

if you are a woman (and things are not utterly changed)

they will almost never believe you really did it

(what you did do)

more here.