Interior Scroll, Carolee Schneemann

Carolee Schneemann (American, 1939-2019) Interior Scroll, 1974/1975 Type-written text on paper Collection of Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell

The scroll is a relic, a surviving object from a
historically important performance. Its expansion
both in performance and displayed here allows its
words to be read. The few words printed per line
creates a stilted voice when read. The words,
borrowed from Schneemann’s diaristic film Kitch’s
Last Meal, prod how language genders professions
in the arts. Schneemann questions how
“cameraman” becomes “cameraperson” whereas
“poet” becomes a “poetess,” when women take
the reins of male-dominated fields. These turns
ascribe or erase gender difference in ways that
either keep women at bay or treat them merely
“as fascinating guests.”