March 31 - May 26, 2007CEPA Gallery with Roberta and Michael Joseph is pleased to present, with major support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Remains To Be Seen, a retrospective examination of the artistic output of Carolee Schneemann that surveys the breadth and depth of her expansive contribution to contemporary art. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist and the public, Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 7 - 10 p.m. The artist and the exhibition's curator, Photios Giovanis, will be present.
"Remains to be Seen" is a retrospective exhibition that surveys the career of Carolee Schneemann, one of the most significant artists of the post war era. While Carolee began as a painter, certain aesthetic and political concerns catapulted her work into the burgeoning fields of performance and body art. Some of her earliest performance works evolved out of collaborations with seminal artists of the period. However, Schneemann's contribution transformed the definition of art, especially in regards to discourses on the body, sexuality and gender. Her work questions the exclusivity of traditional Western categories by creating a space of complementarily, mutuality, and integration. Schneemann's often risky projects wrested pleasure from suppressive taboos and placed the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body.
This comprehensive exhibition is divided into four sections, often eschewing chronology but addressing overriding themes central to Schneemann's oeuvre. Each section will be housed in a distinct space within CEPA Gallery. The sections are: "War," "Erotics" and "Felines." Facets of each theme tie into other parts of the exhibition, making the show a dynamic interconnected whole. This will be the first time that Schneemann's work will be organized by theme for the purposes of an exhibition.
The themes are derived from an essay titled "Thanksgiving Diary" written by Schneemann in November 2002 and published in the first issue of "Yard", a magazine devoted to artist's writings founded by artist Gary Simmons. Like that essay, the exhibitions move through three modes: 1)The mytho-historic private and intimate spaces opened between the artist and her cats. 2)The dynamics of hetero-sexual action, female agency and embodiment as it is experienced between persons. 3)The brute force of war and its image-representations, including 9/11, Iraq, Palestine and Kosovo.
The exhibition has three main goals: to introduce a large variety of Schneemann's work to CEPA's audience through interpretive themes; to exhibit seminal works that Schneemann has revisited, often working documentation of well known performances into new aesthetic forms; and finally, to question the idea of the "retrospective exhibition" as an ordered presentation of the logical progress of an artist's development.
In 1996 the New Museum assembled the only retrospective of Schneemann work. Ten years later, an exhibition that revisits the Schneemann's oeuvre as a whole is long over due. "Remains to be Seen" coincides with "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" at LA MoCA, the first exhibition to examine the international foundation and legacy of feminist art. Also nearly coincident with the CEPA exhibition is the opening of the Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum a new wing of the museum that will place Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" on permanent display.
THE THEMATIC SECTIONS
Catalogue Essays by Thomas McEvilley, Jim Drobnick and Caroline Koebel
Jim Drobnick is a critic, curator and Associate Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design. His writings have appeared in journals such a Angelaki, High Performance, Parachute, Performance Research, Public, and The Senses & Society, as well as catalogues for Aernout Mik (2004) and Su-Mei Tse (2006). He is the editor of Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006), and the co-author of CounterPoses (2002) and Museopathy (2002).
Thomas McEvilley is a scholar, poet, and critic who lives in New York City. He has written hundreds of essays, catalogs and books about both ancient and contemporary art and culture. His most recent book is The Triumph of Anti-Art published by McPherson & Co. in 2005.
Caroline Koebel is a media artist whose work has been exhibited in the US at Anthology Film Archives, Los Angeles Film Forum, Other Cinema, and elsewhere, and internationally, including in Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Thailand, and Poland. Her digital film Berlin Warszawa Express premiered in January 07 at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and later screened as part of Urban Research on Film in Berlin and Eye Am: Women Behind the Lens on TV in NYC. She has previously written about Schneemann's practice for Wide Angle and The Brooklyn Rail. She currently teaches in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo.
THE COLLABORATION WITH MOCCAA companion exhibit titled Breaking Borders at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, curated by David Liss, runs March 24 - April 30, 2007.
The MOCCA exhibition addresses Schneemann's long history of working in Canada. Starting in Montreal in 1967 where Schneemann performed in Buckminster Fuller's American Pavilion for the World Fair, she went on to stage performances, lectures and gallery exhibitions throughout Canada over the course of her career. In some cases issues of censorship in the US forced Schneemann to find venues for her work across borders. In Vancouver in 1987 she created the video installation "Video Rocks" and over the last ten years she has been working in a studio in Montreal where she has completed, among many other works, "Devour" and "Snafu", two large scale video installations that, together with "Video Rocks" will form the foci of the MOCCA show.
Online Exhibition statement by "Remain's to be Seen" curator Photios Giovanis
The Experimental Television Center's Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts