Delving into The Depths of Carolee Schneemann’s Masterpiece: Interior Scroll


Carolee Schneemann, the iconic pioneering feminist artist, broke new ground in the 1970s when she presented one of her most provocative works, the Interior Scroll. This piece, an avant-garde performance art spectacle, has since etched its spot in art history, inviting intense discourses on the intersection of body, art, and feminist theory.

The Performance

The Interior Scroll performance was a bold attempt to challenge and redefine traditional notions of the female body in art. The performance took place in East Hampton, where Schneemann, in a stark white room, began by methodically undressing, painting her body with dark strokes of mud, and then, quite unexpectedly, she began reading from a scroll that was ceremoniously uncoiled from the interior of her body.

Delving into the Symbolism – A Spectacle of Engagement

Schneemann’s Interior Scroll was a performance strongly rooted in symbolism. It was not just about the physical act of extraction but delving into the cavities of internal creativity. It was a proclamation that the artist has authority over her body and the narratives it shapes and shares.

Interior Scroll: The Feminine and The Creative

In the Interior Scroll, the relationship between the feminine and the creative is celebrated unabashedly, and this constitutes an essential part of the work’s impact. By using her body as a canvas and a vessel for her art, Schneemann validates the female body as both a source and an instrument of creativity.

The Narrative of the Scroll: Empowerment through Words

Equally central to the performance was the text read from the Interior Scroll. It encapsulated a confrontation with a male filmmaker who had belittled her work and her processes. The scroll’s narrative was an assertion – a forceful reminder that women artists will not be erased nor their inputs undervalued.

Pushing Boundaries: Interior Scroll in a Broader Context

Interior Scroll should be seen as a key piece in a broader conversation about breaking artistic boundaries. Emerging out of minimalist, destruction, land, and body art movements, it pushed the conversation further by incorporating such personally charged subject matter.

Legacy and Impact: The Continuing Relevance of Interior Scroll

In the ensuing years, Carolee Schneemann’s Interior Scroll performance has had a profound impact on performance art and feminist discourse. Its bold imageries, unapologetic confrontations, and the intrinsic link it established between a woman’s body and her creative power were all groundbreaking.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment