Carolee Schneemann: ‘I never thought I was shocking’
The avant-garde artist who bared her buttocks for Yoko Ono, filmed herself having sex when movies still couldn’t say the word ‘vagina’, and made art out of meat long before Lady Gaga talks to Steve Rose as her first solo UK show opens
In the vibrant, male-dominated art world of New York in the early 1960s, Schneemann seems to have known everyone. She worked with the Fluxus group and considers Yoko Ono a soulmate (Schneemann’s is one of the bottoms in Ono’s infamous film Four, comprised entirely of naked buttocks); she participated in performance works by Claes Oldenberg and Robert Morris (invariably naked); she hung out with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd (“they were just so doped up, so gaily involved in each other, though Andy was weirdly adorable”); she associated with the likes of John Cage, Philip Glass and Robert Rauschenberg, not to mention experimental film-maker Stan Brakhage, who became a close
Her show Water Light/Water Needle is at the Hales Gallery, London E1, until 12 April.
Hales Gallery is proud to announce Water Light/Water Needle, the first solo exhibition in London of pioneering artist Carolee Schneemann. Schneemann’s innovative body of work, which spans from the late 1950’s till today, is consistently challenging both perceptions of and resistance towards performance art, the body, politics of identity, and feminist ideology. This is the first time an exhibition of Water Light/Water Needle has been held since the original performance in 1966.