Interior Scroll, 1975 Suite of 13 gelatin silver prints on fiber paper,
each mounted on museum board, colophon page,
in clothbound clamshell case
Each photograph 11 x 14 inches (28 x 35.5 cm)
Edition of 7, each photograph signed, dated, titled, & numbered
Published by Carolina Nitsch and Elisabeth Ross Wingate, NY
Carolee Schneemann first performed "Interior Scroll" in East Hampton, New York in August 1975. She entered the performance space wrapped in a white sheet and carrying a bucket of mud. After undressing, she ritualistically painted her body with the mud and read from her book "Cezanne, She Was A Great Painter". Schneemann then slowly extracted a scroll from her vagina and read a text that was a response to criticism from a male artist accusing her of making messy, female work. The thirteen sequential photographs in this portfolio record her historic performance. Interior Scroll was performed a second and last time at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado in 1977.
"I thought of the vagina in many ways-- physically, conceptually: as a sculptural form, an architectural referent, the source of sacred knowledge, ecstasy, birth passage, transformation. I saw the vagina as a translucent chamber of which the serpent was an outward model: enlivened by its passage from the visible to the invisible, a spiraled coil ringed with the shape of desire and generative mysteries, attributes of both female and male sexual powers. This source of ‘interior knowledge’ would be symbolized as the primary index unifying spirit and flesh in Goddess worship.” -Carolee Schneemann