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Carolee Schneemann

Flange 6rpm

May 31–July 13, 2014

There is a kind of strange animism between the motor and the fire, i.e. the technology and the ancient casting. 

— Carolee Schneemann, in conversation with Melissa Ragona, 2014

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Flange 6rpm consists of seven motorized sculptural units containing hand-sculpted components. Each form is unique, cast in aluminum from a lost wax process. Sculptural units are mounted on a motorized base which moves them at 6 rotations 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.

The aluminum sculptures are not polished but maintain a rough texture still marked from the fire of the foundry process. Several DVDs from the foundry firing are documented, resembling a huge efflorescence of flowing fire shapes. These documents have been edited to be projected on the wall, surrounding the moving sculptures as well as being projected onto the floor so that viewers are enveloped also in the fiery imagery.

Each motorized unit weighs 30 lbs and measures approximately 48 x 28 x 36 inches; the full installation with projection measures 9 x 9.5 x 3 feet.

The work evolved from a simple drawing which demanded realization as moving sculptures. The speed of 6rpm has a consistent history with many of Schneemann’s kinetic sculptures.

What kind of a thing is an art object? It depends on what’s being looked at, and who’s doing the looking. If you’re Carolee Schneemann, the art includes yourself — your body, your mind, your movement — and potentially anything connected to you, plus the way you occupy space in time. It also might include dream as source of the first appearance of what points to the work. This has been the case pervasively throughout the artist’s life: a dream thing asks to be translated into a living world thing. The artist obeys.

– George Quasha, 2014

BIOGRAPHY

Carolee Schneemann is a multidisciplinary artist who transformed the definition of art, especially discourse on the body, sexuality, and gender. The history of her work is characterized by research into archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body.

Painting, photography, performance art and installation works shown at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and most recently in a retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York entitled “Up To And Including Her Limits”. Film and video retrospectives Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Film Theatre, London; Whitney Museum, NY; San Francisco Cinematheque; Anthology Film Archives, NYC.

She has taught at many institutions including New York University, California Institute of the Arts, Bard College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recipient of a 1999 Art Pace International Artist Residency, San Antonio, Texas; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (1997, 1998); 1993 Guggenheim Fellowship; Gottlieb Foundation Grant; National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME. Lifetime Achievement Award, College Art Association, 2000.

Schneemann has published widely; books include Cezanne, She Was A Great Painter (1976), Early and Recent Work (1983); More Than Meat Joy: Performance Works and Selected Writings (1979, 1997). Forthcoming publications include Imaging Her Erotics, from MIT Press. A selection of her letters edited by Kristine Stiles is also forthcoming.

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