Carolee Schneemann, Artist in distribution, United States, 1939
Carolee Schneemann was born in Fox Chase, Pennslyvania, USA in 1939. Since the 1960s, she has been based in New York. Schneemann received her MFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, and previously studied at Bard College in Annadale-on-Hudson, New York. Her work examines the discursive traces of the notions of body, gender, and sexuality, and became internationally recognized in the 1990s.
Much of Schneemann's work is performance-based. By pushing the boundaries of performative art forms, she has challenged the representation of the female body, showing it as a site of action rather than objectification. Schneemann attempts to transgress the visual tradition of representing sex and the female figure by featuring strong female desires in her work. In words, images and actions, her art is deeply personal, often explicitly using her own naked body as a means to express the politics of identity and the body. The erotic quality of her performances directly confronts the viewer and his or her position as voyeur.