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Carolee Schneemann (American, born 1939)
Digital print with hand lithography on paper
12 x 12 inches
From Femfolio portfolio. Edition of 60. Published by Brodsky Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Collaborating Master Printer: John C. Erickson.

carolee schneemann

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Carolee Schneemann’s characteristically layered image-making process consists in collecting pictures from the media or her own taped performances, and them filming, editing, exposing and re-filming them again.  A performer and filmmaker who, in the mid-1960s, inaugurated a feminist, conceptual multimedia approach to visual expression, Schneemann focused, at first, on reviving a goddess imagery in landmark, radical performances.  A parallel body of work emerged soon after, which the artist made in reaction to the devastation of the Vietnamese, during the American Vietnam War (1955–1975).

This print is part of a related, yet lesser-known, body of work by Schneemann, begun in the 1980s, which employs representation of bodies from repressed histories of control and confinement, including body cells in cancer and AIDS-related illnesses.

A fragment of the artist’s ongoing reflection on unresolved histories of violence, this print employs repetition much like Schneemann’s current moving-image installations.  Three instances of photography clipped from news reportage of many vicious deaths in different world regions become a commentary on the mass desensitization brought on by globally sprawling visual media communication.  But, the artist also exposes her process of rendering the pictures translucent.  Her underlying hand-drawn abstract forms and colors become a part of them and give new life to the pictures.  Evidence attempts to interrupt repetition and enable greater consciousness, by making meaning in each news picture, again, as vivid and whole as possible.