Flange 6rpm (detail), 2011-13. Foundry-poured aluminium sculpture, motors (6rpm each), and DVD projections, 48x28x36in.

Carolee Schneemann: The Persistance of Her Memory

In 1959, Bard College suspended Carolee Schneemann—for “moral turpitude,” she says. “I painted a full-length frontal nude portrait of my partner, James Tenney.”1 It wasn’t until the early ’70s that Erica Jong could write Fear of Flying, extolling the “zipless fuck,” and Judy Chicago begin her iconic feminist installation, The Dinner Party. During the intervening years, Schneemann’s pedestal wobbled. Some discredited her work as pornographic and lewd; others celebrated her liberation of female identity. The first American woman to use her body as an art medium, Schneemann eased the way for later artists and popular culture icons such as Marina Abramovi´c and Lady Gaga. Although her works foreshadowed how Americans today think about sex, human rights, and art, she was best known until recently for her audacity and not her inventions, for her body and not her body of work. …see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.