1 Carolee Schneemann, Statement from the artist, October 10, 2001.
2 From an email conversation with the artist on September 30, 2001.
3 The concept of the exhibition was Murray-Wassink's and it was his endless energy that made it possible; Schneemann coined the title.
The 1990s interest in 70s feminism in art could be characterized as an historical amnesia. Many feminist artists have been written out of many art histories and younger artists must learn of their work on their own.
4 Schneemann, Carolee.
More Than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings. Kingston, New York: Documentext, 1997 (1979), 10.
Schneemann, 1997, 52. On a flyer for Eye/Body it is, deservedly, referred to as the origins of body art.
The work's poignancy seems ever so strong in a year ending with so much uncertainty, turmoil and trauma.
Brill is known for her book Boobs, Boys and High Heels or How to Get Dressed in Just under Six
Hours. London: Vermillion, 1992.
The Bureau Amsterdam show was curated by Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen. The Sands Murray Project was arranged by Tijmen van Grootheest and the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst.
From an email discussion with the author, September 30, 2001. Murray-Wassink's personal Web site is a continual work in progress, where he reveals personal correspondence and free association texts. His husband, Robin Wassink-Murray, created his Web site and is integral to the artist's creative process.
While many male artists, gay and straight, have taken from feminism, and Schneemann in particular, Murray-Wassink is one of the few who acknowledges that fact.
Haug, Kate. "Interview with Kate Haug." In: Carolee Schneemann. Imaging her Erotics: Essays, Interviews,
Projects. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 2001, 21.
Taken from an interview with Schneemann by the author on September 21, 2001. Unless otherwise noted, all Schneemann quotations are taken from this interview.
Comments and thoughts for ABC collected by Schneemann between March and November 1976.
As the critic Michael Gibbs noted of Schneemann's approach in 1977, "Taking the book into the performance arena (rather than making a book from a performance) does seem to offer a new direction for the art of the book…The book of this piece is already complete: it is the piece." In: "Everything in the art world exists in order to end up as a book."
Art Communication Edition 6, July 1977.
ABC: We Print Anything - In the Cards. Beuningen, Holland: Brummense Uitgeverij Van Luxe Werkjes, 1977.
A=Anthony McCall, B=Bruce McPherson.
See cards 39, 77, 92, 107, 123, and 151. As part of the exhibition and a special selection from the work, five of these text cards were enlarged and printed on Plexiglas panels each positioned in front of a photograph from the book.
It should also be noted that statements from this work often contain loaded meanings about life, women's condition in society, etc. and could be seen as a precedent for the text-based work of artists such as Jenny Holzer or Barbara Kruger.
MacDonald, Scott. "The Men Cooperated." Afterimage, Vol. 12, No. 9, 12. Schneemann also has a silkscreen based on ABC and the relationships titled
The Men Cooperate.
From an email conversation with the artist on September 30, 2001.
An altered version of this work appeared at Murray-Wassink's last New York group show at the Sean Kelly gallery in 1998 curated by Jens Hoffmann entitled
Young Scene was curated by Kathrin Rhomberg.
"Carolee Schneemann: Disruptive Consciousness." Lecture by the artist, The 2001 National Graduate Seminar, Performance: A Photographic Perspective, New York University, June 7, 2001.
For an example of this issue, see Lippard's early discussion of Schneemann and Wilke in "The Pains and Pleasures of Rebirth: European and American Women's Body Art."
From the Center: Feminist essays on women's art, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1976, 125-126. Kristine Stiles also discusses the problem of Schneemann's nude body in her work, see: Stiles, "Schlaget Auf: The Problem with Carolee Schneemann's Painting."
Carolee Schneemann: Up To and Including Her Limits. New York: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1996, 15-25.
24 Lippard, Lucy. From the Center: Feminist essays on women's art, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1976, 126. From a 1968 quote by Schneemann from her book
Cézanne She was a Great Painter, 1975.
As Schneemann recounts, a number of mummies were discovered for which numerous museums were bidding. "All the big male mummies went to big, major museums and little Arnhem ended up with a female mummy in the basement kept under glass."
In an interesting twist to the work, Schneemann later discovered that while she was doing her work in the museum, the guards had actually gone to the basement to watch her on the security cameras, having a secret around her secret and allowing her to do her work. Later, she gave a lecture starting the work
Home Run Muse at the Gemeentemuseum Arnhem using the images from her intervention. The museum director was horrified at discovering this happened at the museum, feeling that Schneemann was "about to make this outrage in front of the gentle, thoughtful public." From an interview with the artist, September 21, 2001.
This emphasis on the exterior, physical beauty is not unrelated to societal pressures many women feel via the media. Artist comments and ideas based on an interview on September 10, 2001. Quotes by Murray-Wassink are from this interview unless otherwise noted.
Murray-Wassink views the sloping white background as a form similar to Schneemann's space used for
Up to and Including Her Limits (1973-76).
Murray-Wassink looks to Schneemann and Wilke for inspiration for this type of work. The artist is also aware of his race as a white man and what that represents within societal structures and ardently hopes his work will speak beyond that. In regards to his body within a gay male culture, he believes he represents the feminine "type" of gay men, not a muscular type to be confused with a heroic body-builder type.
This work could be placed within the context of other gay artists who make photographic self-portraiture such as Robert Mapplethorpe or in the context of male artists who use their nude body in performances, such as Vito Acconci or Robert Morris, both heterosexual in this case. However, Murray-Wassink does not feel that his work has anything in common with them. Instead, he feels much closer to the work of feminist artists, lesbian and straight. For him, it is about intention, he states "I would like the word 'human personality' to replace the word 'artistic talent.'" (From an email with the author, October 10, 2001.)
Frueh, Joanna. Monster/Beauty: Building the Body of Love. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2001, 3.
34 This essay can only point to these very complicated issues and cannot adequately address them within the scope of this text.
Frueh, 2001, 10. With this discussion, I in no way mean to conflate gay men with women, rather, I am only indicating connections in their lived experiences.
Frueh discusses messiness and Schneemann in this respect in "Making a mess: women's bane, women's pleasure." In: Katy Deepwell, ed.
Women Artists and Modernism. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998, 142-158.
From an interview with the author on September 21, 2001. Unless otherwise noted, all Schneemann quotations are taken from this interview.
Haug, 2001, 33.
Schneemann, Carolee. "Notes on Fuses" (1971) in: Schneemann, 2001, 45.
See "Interior Scroll" in Schneemann 1997 (1979), 234-239. She performed the work in 1975 at "Women Here and Now" and in 1977 at the Telluride Film Festival.
Schneemann. "The Blood Link: Fresh Blood - A Dream Morphology and Venus
Vectors." Leonardo. Vol. 27, No. 1, 23.
While the performance changed slightly from venue to venue, the basic format I follow here is from her performance booklet,
Fresh Blood - A Dream Morphology. Carolee Schneemann, 1981.
On most occasions that she performed Fresh Blood, she sought a volunteer from the local community to participate as the black woman companion.
Schneemann, 1981, unpaginated. Additional quotations from the text of the performance are from this publication.
Frueh, 2001, 31
From a telephone discussion with Murray-Wassink, August 19, 2001.
From an email discussion with Murray-Wassink, August 13, 2001.
From an email discussion with the artist, September 30, 2001.
However, there is also a part of American society that sees gay men as sex driven. It must be noted that many straight Americans are not homophobic and see homosexual relationships as "normal."
54 He was inspired by Schneemann's Interior Scroll (1975).
From an email discussion with the artist, October 2, 2001.