Apartment Talk #4: Carolee Schneemann (Co-organized with Melissa Ragona and CMU School of Art)
Legendary multidisciplinary artist Carolee Schneemann was recently in town to give a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, and dropped in at the Lawrenceville apartment on October 19th to share a couple videos and some great stories. More than 50 people turned out to see Americana I Ching Apple Pie (1972/2007) and Mysteries of the Pussies (1998/2010) (descriptions after the jump), which are based on performances the artist did years ago, but which still feel as fresh, funny, and provocative as ever.
Before making her way over to the apartment, Carolee met me for coffee at the Museum. I meant to give her a tour of the collection galleries, but we ended up poring over the contents of a folder marked “Carolee Schneemann” from the old Film Section files. The file includes a few real gems from the 1970s, like collages and lovingly adorned letters that Carolee sent then film curator, Sally Dixon, during the fledgling years of the Carnegie’s film program. Dixon invited Schneemann to screen her controversial film Fuses (1967) at the Museum in 1973, a bold move during a conservative period in the museum’s history (we screened it again in 2010 in conjunction with the exhibition Ordinary Madness to much uncomfortable fidgeting and clearing of throats, but no critical hoopla). The artist also presented a performance about her friend Joseph Cornell at the museum in 1978; hopefully I’ll be able to post related video in future, upon completion of our film and video preservation project.
A few things from Carolee’s film file, and images from her presentation at the apartment follow.