Interior Squirrel

Went with Marianne yesterday to the Into me / Out of me exhibit at PS1, to hearCarolee Schneemann give a lecture on her oeuvre, and on the relationship of bodies to pleasure and to war. She showed parts of Viet/Flakes, as relevant today as it was in 1965, and Vulva’s Morphia, and talked at length on Interior Scroll.

One very funny anecdote involved a Danish interviewer who asked her, “how could you stand the pain?” of the Interior Scroll. Carolee responded that she had all sorts of unguent fluids available (avocado oil is the one I remember) to facilitate its ease of use. The interviewer said, “but the pain, the pain! Those claws!”

Carolee said, “claws?”

“Yes,” said the interviewer,”the claws of the interior SQUIRREL!”

Ah… the joy of translation.

Carolee referred wryly to the fact that only two of her works had ever been sold — all the rest are “in the shed.” She acknowledged that she has received critical acclaim, but also that, over the years, she has been called “pornographer,” “too diaristic,” “too heterosexual,” and any number of other unfair characterizations.

It’s an outrage that her work has been marginalized to the extent it has, given the centrality of the issues it raises. I thank her for her articulations.

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