Saturday, November 03, 2007

Carolee Schneeman

Here’s the opening of my review of the Carolee Schneeman exhibit at Cambridge’s Pierre Menard Gallery:
Carolee Schneemann is one of the grandes dames of the ’60s and ’70s feminist art revolution. In her landmark 1975 performance "Interior Scroll," she stood naked and read about sexism from a three-foot-long strip of paper that she pulled out of her vagina. The action was visceral and elemental. Also unforgettable.

Despite her pioneering role, her work is not often seen. Which is why her mini career-spanning survey at Cambridge’s Pierre Menard Gallery is a must, even though it’s a mixed bag. ("Interior Scroll" isn’t presented.) Schneemann, who’s based in New Paltz, New York, has long favored a let-it-all-hang-out Abstract-Expressionist-assemblage-happening style; this can build to affecting moods, but sometimes it feels like a pointless jumble. What sets her apart is the way she puts her body into the middle of her work, and her political and feminist subjects.
Read the rest here.

Carolee Schneeman, Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow St., Cambridge, Oct. 12 to Nov. 25, 2007.

Pictured from top to bottom: Still from “Fuses,” 1967, 30-minute color silent film, and “Devour,” 2003-04, 8-minute video loop.


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