Before you distributed handouts to everyone in the class on Carolee Schneemann’s performance art “Interior Scroll” with the warning that it’s quite graphic, I remember thinking something along the lines of: “Oh no, it’s probably going to involve down there.. ” and sure enough, it was! My involvement with a counter-culture fashion has influenced me that in order to get your message across (and having that message linger in the observer’s mind), you most likely have to go “over the top. Personally, art pieces or presentations that are extremely “out there” and “different” are extremely difficult for me to forget, especially if there was an intended message or feeling attached to them. Concerning “Interior Scroll,” I think the gross factor allows Schhneemann to convey her point very well – a point specifically about sexism. Even though she made this performance over thirty years ago, I think its relevance still applies today.
I feel as though society today overly emphasizes sex which then leads to stipulating the notion of objectifying women. Despite this unhealthy obsession of “sex, sex, and more sex,” people are still grossed out when they see the insides of a woman (kind of like the reactions I saw from my classmates watching a mother give birth in my Honors class in high school). It was very clever of her to, literally, turn herself inside-out. I believe in this way, male viewers have been denied the power (and privilege) to fantasize about the female form.
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