Carolee Schneemann: Up To And Including Her Limits
November 24 1996 – January 26 1997
This was the first U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the work of Carolee Schneemann, who, since the 1960s, had been a key a figure in the development of performance and body-based art. Using her own body as artistic medium, Schneemann introduced in her performance work of the 60s and 70s a raw physicality that challenged conventional ideas of the representation of women in art.
Carolee Schneemann: Up To And Including Her Limits featured over thirty works from the previous four decades. Emerging from a world of experimental film and music, poetry, Fluxus, Happenings, and environments, the artist’s early painting, collage, assemblage, and box constructions were partly an effort to free artistic practice from the static object. Incorporating her nude body in performance extended that investigation into the liberation of the female image from traditional representation and social mores. Her now legendary performance such as Meat Joy (1964), Up To And Including Her Limits (1973), and Interior Scroll (1975) were represented in the exhibition as documentation - notes, scores, photographs, video, and film, and reconfigured in mixed media installations.
This exhibition gave overdue recognition to an important artist whose work influenced future generations of artists using the body, such as Matthew Barney and Janine Antoni, and highlighted a critical moment in the development of performance and feminism in artistic practice.1