P·P·O·W is pleased to present Carolee Schneemann’s fourth exhibition at the gallery entitled Flange 6rpm. Originally a painter, Carolee Schneemann is a pioneer of extended media, from her explorations of 'geometry of motion' in Lateral Splay, 1963, the provocative group performance Meat Joy, 1964, her self-shot erotic film Fuses, 1965, and the meditation of solitary movements in Up To and Including Her Limits, 1973-76.
Upon entering the gallery the viewer is immersed in the projected foundry fires of Schneemann’s latest multi-sensory installation, Flange 6rpm. Seven motorized sculptural units; containing hand-sculpted components, each unique, cast in aluminum from a lost wax process. The aluminum sculptures are not polished, but maintain a rough textured sill marked from the fire of the foundry. The sculptural units are each mounted on a motorized base which moves them at six revolutions per minute – slowly, side to side, as well as forward and back – in a continuous motion so that the sculptural elements are almost touching, creating a sense of tension and unpredictability.
Schneemann notes 'The fundamental life of any material I use is concentrated in that material's gesture -- gesticulation, gestation, source of compression (measure of tension and expansion), resistance, developing force of visual action. Manifest in space, any particular gesture acts on the eye as a unit of time.' This statement reigns true to the materials of the four Dust Paintings, 1983-86, that occupy the walls of the second gallery. Degraded materials, ashes, soot, layers of dust, spilled paint, circuit boards, posit a visual correlative to the endless bombardments of Lebanese and Palestinian villages.
Saw Over Want, 1980-82 and Vulva’s Morphia, 1995, are composed from photographic grids separated by strips of text that accentuate and destabilize their associated images. The text in Saw Over Want, is taken from Schneemann’s childhood alphabet exercises. The words “saw”, “want”, and “over” have been repeatedly practiced. Strips of text underline images of ordinary objects and self-shot erotic body details. This contrast produces an aesthetic seepage. Vulva’s Morphia consists of thirty-six images which address normative taboos within an undulating grid of Paleolithic vulvas inscribed on rocks as well as sacred, obscene, scientific, and self-photographed vulvic images. Each sectional grid is underlined with a taboo reflection. For instance, “Vulva reads biology and understands she is an amalgam of proteins and oxytocin hormones which govern all her desires....”
A feature length film on Schneemann’s work and history entitled Breaking the Frame by Marielle Nitoslawska has recently been completed and shown at the Telluride Film Festival, BFI/London Film Festival, FNC Montreal, Glasgow, Cleveland and this month at the WRO Biennial, Wroclaw, Poland and Videoex, Zurich. Schneemann’s work has been exhibited worldwide, at institutions including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Reina Sophia Museum, Madrid and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her published books include Cezanne; She Was A Great Painter (1976); Early and Recent Work (1983); More Than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings (1979); Correspondence Course (2010) by Kristine Stiles, and Imaging Her Erotics–Essays, Interviews, Projects (2002). Color brochure to accompany the exhibition with essay by Melissa Ragona.