Carolee Schneemann
Interior Scroll
1975 und 1977
Performance at the Film Festival Colorado, 1977

21-79-Interior Scroll Schneemann

Rights (Photo / Work):
© Carolee Schneemann, 2013 and licensed for use by Bildrecht, Wien, 2013
Photo: Anthony McCall

List of sources:

    "Interior Scroll" was performed twice (1975, 1977), each performance slightly different to the other. At the beginning Schneemann posed nude, reading a book to the audience. She painted her body with mud, at the end of the performance she exracted a paper scroll from her vagina reading the text "Kitch's Last Meal". The text of the scroll describes the women's everday discrimation.[1] In her thesis[2] Anette Kubitza states that Schneemann compared the scroll that she exracted from her vagina with a serpent. The serpent motif often appears in the context of goddesses from earlier cultures.[3] In the 1960s, Carolee Schneemann turned her interest to female deities; in this work she reproduced the idea of the woman as creator of cultures. According to Schneemann the serpent represents the "cosmic energy of the uterus"[4] and is the symbol of an "outward existence of the vulvic space".[5] So the serpent is the "outward source of interior knowledge" unifying spirit and flesh. Schneemann was among the first artists who put their body into the focus of their artistic work. She emphasized on the exploration, identification and positive reevaluation of the female body and its sexuality.[6] The decision for the artistic medium of performance, too, is revaluated in the representation of women. The performance is not static, the artist is in motion, in an active process of creation she is in the center of attention and breaks with the tradition of the woman being a static object in the fine arts.

Biography: http://www.caroleeschneemann.com/bio.html

(Translation: K. Seifter)