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Legendary Feminist Performance Artist

Artspace And Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki Present A Lecture By Carolee Schneemann Legendary Feminist Performance Artist

Auckland Art Gallery auditorium / Thursday 16 November at 6pm

Emerging in the early 1960s world of experimental film, music, poetry, dance and happenings, Carolee Schneemann has transformed art with her groundbreaking works on the body, sexuality and gender. The American artist's work addresses archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, and the dynamic relationship between her body and the social body. Her influential work ranges from solo improvisations to large group ensemble pieces, from starkly bare stagings to multi-media and multi-sensory extravaganzas. A pioneer of body art, she is best known for her watershed 1964 performance Meat Joy, a orgiastic group performance involving nakedness, sausages, fish and chicken (image attached).

Marcia Tucker writes: "By the mid 1960s, performance played a major role in the New York art world, yet women were a conspicuous minority on the scene. It was only after 1968, when the first wave of the Women's Movement hit New York that pieces by Meredith Monk, Yoko Ono, Rachael Rosenthal, Yvonne Rainer, Hannah Wilke, Shigeko Kubota, Charlotte Moorman, Joan Jonas, Carolee Schneemann, and others began to take on the accumulated force of a shift in collective thinking about art... Schneemann's work was difficult to pin down, but it became controversial and ultimately marginalised because of the way she used her own body; her style was direct, sexual, autobiographical, and confrontational. Her work couldn't be called "conceptual" because it was too raw, too emotive, too immediate. Nor did people perceive its connection to 'action' painting, which was firmly rooted in the heroic, male tradition... In the context of early feminist art activities, Schneemann's work was viewed by many at the time as liberating; nonetheless, it ran counter to prevailing feminist politics because it didn't seem to constitute a critique of patriarchy. It had a little too much pleasure, a little too much (hetero)sexuality, and an uncompromising refusal on the part of the artist to justify herself to anyone."

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Schneemann's performances - direct extensions of her work as a painter and filmmaker - have been presented throughout Europe and the United States. Schneemann's video, film, painting, photography, performance art and installation works have been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and most recently in Up To And Including Her Limits, a retrospective at New York's New Museum which the International Association of Art Critics judged "best show originating in a New York museum" at their annual awards.

Schneemann is visiting New Zealand to participate in the Colloquium conference at Christchurch's Robert McDougall Art Gallery. Come hear he speak for one night only at Auckland Art Gallery. Schneemann's lecture is presented with support from Museums Aotearoa.

For further information or to book interviews with Schneemann, please call Sonya Korohina or Robert Leonard at Artspace (9) 3034965.


KARIN SANDER 15 November - 9 December; with the support of the Goethe Institut

German artist Karin Sander's latest works are small human figures. These Lilliputian figures are not made by hand, and they reveal nothing of her touch or subjectivity. Instead she draws on advanced 3-D scanning technology, outputing the digitised image layer-by-layer in acrylic at 1:10 scale in a process called "fused deposition modeling". Finally the figures are airbrushed. So the results are really a hybrid of sculpture, photography, painting and computer art. Sander has so far invited friends, associates, and virtual strangers to be scanned, and the results are intensely and eerily human, right down to the nuances of expressions, creases in clothes, postures, eye color and hairdos. It's not like looking at miniature sculptures, but at miniaturised people. All the big and tiny details of the body are there, but so too are pronounced traces of the high tech process, the ridges of the acrylic layers from which the figures are comprised suggesting video scan lines.

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