Body Collage, 1967

Betacam numérique PAL, noir et blanc, silencieux

Body Collage is a mute video in black and white, lasting 3 minutes 30 seconds, shot in September 1967.
Carolee Schneemann, naked in her studio, prepares a container of glue, plasters her body and slowly applies papers to it that have been prepared in advance. She alternates more expressive movements – rolling herself, for instance, in a heap of papers on the floor or running in her studio – with the more classical poses of the Western statue.
The moving shots are spliced with photographs of works by Carolee Schneemann – the fast, energetic editing lends a dynamic aspect to the video as a whole.

With Body Collage, the artist introduced a new parameter to one of her practices inherited from Neo-Dada – paper collage. She transforms her body into a creative medium by inventing corporeal collage, and displays the overall development of the work. As in Meat Joy, Carolee Schneemann favours an active creative process (what is happening) over the final result (what has happened).

One last detail: her cat Kitch appears surreptitiously in the video. This divine presence frequently returns in her works – the feline is perceived as a silent and objective spectator of the artist’s life. He appears in Fuses in 1967, witness to Schneemann and her partner’s lovemaking, or, again, in Kitch's Last Meal in 1978.

Laetitia Rouiller