Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Obscene Body

"The burgeoning recent work of women in the arts is fueled by three thousand years of fracture-the masculist enforcement of self-righteous institutionalizations that have dogged our heels. My anger, when I first discovered this subtle and pervasive censorship, this excision, paralleled my later rage and confusion at being denied a feminine pronoun (The artist, he . . . Everyone will hand up his hat. Creative man and his images) and upon discovering that my culture denies females an honorable genital. My sexuality was idealized, fetishized, but the organic experience of my own body was referred to as defiling, stinking, contaminating. Bible study and graffiti under the train trestle shared a common deprecation. History, sexuality, and naming were subsumed, contorted. I would have to be "a spy in the house of art."

- From Carolee Schneemann's "The Obscene Body/Politic". It isn't feasible to post the 9-page essay here, but I can forward the .pdf file to anyone interested. Drop in an e-mail or a comment on my blog.