Meat Joy, 1999

Basel 2019
Mixed Media
performance collage: photos from 1964 performance, crayon, paint on linen
210.8 x 134.6 Size (cm)
83.0 x 53.0 Size (in)
Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019) activated the female nude with a multidisciplinary practice that has spanned sixty years and includes painting, assemblage, performance, and film. By connecting the kinetic nature of her early paintings and assemblages to her radical performances and films, Schneemann’s work has made a permanent mark on the history of art. P•P•O•W will present a collaged painting and vintage photographs documenting her now iconic 1964 performance, Meat Joy. Performed in Paris, London, and New York City, this group performance famously incorporated raw fish, chickens, sausages, wet paint, plastic, rope, and shredded scrap paper into what the artist described as “an erotic rite – excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material.” We will also present a selection of vintage prints from the series "Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera", 1963, in which Schneemann merged her body with her painting-constructions. Permeating boundaries between image-maker and image, seeing and seen, this series represents the first time Schneemann incorporated her physical body into the form of her work. In More than Meat Joy: Complete Performance Works and Selected Writings, 1979, Schneemann wrote, “In 1963 to use my body as an extension of my painting-constructions was to challenge and threaten the psychic territorial power lines by which women were admitted to the Art Stud Club. […] I was using the nude as myself -- the artist -- and as a primal, archaic force which could unify energies I discovered as visual information.” Schneemann’s work has been exhibited worldwide, at institutions including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid. The comprehensive retrospective "Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Paintings" recently traveled from Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2015), to the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2017) and MoMA PS1, New York (2018).