Up to and including her limits, 1976

Betacam numérique, PAL, couleur, son

Up To And Including Her Limits is a video with sound dating from 10th June 1979, lasting 29 minutes, produced at the Studio Galerie in Berlin during a performance by Carolee Schneemann.

In a corner of the gallery saturated primary colours are projected. Schneemann invests this space, hanging from ropes. A soundtrack composed of train noises, grating of nails or broken glass accompanies her. She makes slow movements, extending her body in a desire to test its physical limits. She grabs pencils and draws over all the surfaces that her hands can reach; her body becomes an ephemeral paintbrush in the gallery space.

In the 1950s, Carolee Schneemann was trained as a painter. Her examination of the condition of women in art history led her to consider the traditional tool of the paintbrush as a phallic object, reserved for men. In the video of Up To And Including Her Limits, she suggests making her own body a paintbrush and substitutes the gallery space for the canvas.

In 1996, the title of this video was taken up again as the name of Carolee Schneemann’s first solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York and the publication that accompanied it.

Laetitia Rouiller