The first lady of performance creates new work for Tate Liverpool

Carolee Schneemann Photo: Alex Sweetman, 2006
Carolee Schneemann Photo: Alex Sweetman, 2006

Carolee Schneemann at Tate Liverpool As part of the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival  23-27 September 2009

Admission Free

As part of the inaugural Abandon Normal Devices (AND) festival, Tate Liverpool will present an exhibition and performative lecture by the pioneering American performance artist Carolee Schneemann (born 1939). Revered for her prolific career spanning five decades, Carolee Schneemann has transformed ideas and discourse on the body, sexuality and gender through work that challenges art historical and visual traditions.

Through painting, photography, installation art and performance, the artist uses her own body as the subject matter to examine and problematise notions of the idealised erotic female subject. Early Schneemann works such as Meat Joy 1964, in which semi-naked performers grapple with one another in a mixture of materials such as paint and raw meat, shifted the body into the expressive realm of the painter’s canvas.

In the context of the women’s movement in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, Schneemann’s work introduced the artist’s body as the source of imaginative energy as well as the site and subject of creativity.

At Tate Liverpool Schneemann will premiere Precarious, a multi-screen video installation that continues the artist’s investigation into the relationship between personal experience and the changeability of human perception. The work consists of fragments of visual material – at times unexpected and provocative – which draw from elements of Schneemann’s personal environment.

As part of The Long Night of the AND Festival Schneemann will also present Mysteries of the Iconographies, a free performative lecture which will take place at Tate Liverpool on Thursday 24 September at 18.00. In this intimate visual lecture Schneemann travels backwards and forwards in time, beginning with obsessive childhood drawings of a staircase. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the artist. Booking is essential; please contact Tate Liverpool on 0151 702 7400 to reserve a ticket.

Abandon Normal Devices is a major new festival of New Cinema and Digital Culture for the Northwest, launching in galleries and sites across Liverpool from 23-27 September. AND is presented by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool), Cornerhouse, (Manchester) and folly (Lancaster), with future editions planned in Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria. The debut festival offers an energetic programme across Liverpool’s cultural spaces, providing a legacy in the region after the success of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture. At the heart of this festival lies a fascination with ideas about social, physical and technological norms with artistic approaches from the playful to the downright provocative. For more information about the AND festival visit


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