|Dan Cameron presenting Carolee Schneemann the Skowhegen Award|
|My name is Dan Cameron, and here are facts of the matter as I understand them.
In November 1964, Carolee Schneemann put on a multi-performer event, or, if you prefer, a happening, called 'Meat Joy' at the Judson Memorial Church on Washington square, and a whole new direction in art-making, which we now call 'performance art,' burst fully -formed into existence.
About a year before, in her NY studio, Carolee Schneemann created a work called 'Eye Body,' in which her performance persona was the subject of a series of photographs. From that day forward, photography of the self, previously terra incognita to the avant garde, became a new and fertile possibility.
In 1967, Carolee Schneemann screened her just-completed film 'Fuses,' part I of an extended autobiographical trilogy, and experimental film was never quite the same.
In 1973, as part of the Avant-Garde Festival at Grand Central Station, Carolee Schneemann presented the extraordinary drawing performance, "Up to and Included her Limits." Shortly afterward, the video of this performance was presented along with the large drawings produced as part of the long-duration performance, and dthe medium of video installation suddenly has a new center of gravity.
In August 1975, Carolee Schneemann first performed one of her most widely-known works, 'Interior Scroll,' and the relationship between feminist discourse and artistic practice was altered forever.
Time and time again, throughout a long and courageous career, Carolee Schneemann has stepped bravely yet gingerly into the void, and returned bearing something profoundly beautiful, something that the world had never experienced before.
How many artists of our time can we say this about: that the world is a totally different place thanks to their having sustained an investigation which is being celebrated today for, among other things, its far-reaching influence on the practices of dozens of younger artists working today?
I'm very proud to call Carolee a friend, [and] I am often reminded of what a privilege it is to be working as a curator and writer during the same moment in art history when she is active, w hen the changes she initiated in visual culture are evident everywhere one looks. Her impact on my work has been nothing shorts of profound: not only was my first New Museum exhibition about her art... when I was first commissioned to write an essay in an art magazine, I chose to write on her early paintings and assemblages. Please join me in giving Carolee Schneemann the tribute she so richly deserves.
|Senior Curator of the New Museum of Contemporary Art Dan Cameron's introductory address presenting the Skowhegan Award for Performance to Carolee Schneemann at the 30th Annual Skowhegan Awards dinner, held April 26, 2001 at The Plaza Hotel, NYC. Also honoring artists Pepon Osorio and David Reed.|