Interior Scroll
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The year was 1975, and vaginal history was about to be made by Carolee Schneemann.

Tucked away at an art show in East Hampton, the line between exhibition and exhibitionism was about to be blurred. It was at the Women Here and Now art show that Schneemann, a crusader for vulvas around the world, first performed this historic piece.

In this provocative performance, Schneemann waltzed into the room, undressed, wrapped herself in sheets, and then jumped up on a table. She then proceeded to read from a book that she had written and entitled Cézanne, She Was a Great Painter. Perhaps feeling that this reading was a little drab for her style, Schneemann then ripped off her sheet and proceeded to smear dark paint across her body. Once properly coated in paint, she took a squatting stance and began to pull a scroll about feminism out of her vagina and read it aloud to her enthralled audience.

While this may not be your typical bookstore reading, and would certainly make the members of your mother's book club squirm, Schneemann sure did find a memorable way to convey her message. A raging feminist, Schneemann smashed social taboos. Creating art in a time when women were not respected in the art world, Schneemann used her body in shocking ways to capture the attention of a male-centered art industry. Smash the patriarchy! With our vaginas!

While some have labeled this piece tasteless, there is no doubt that the impact of this performance can still be seen throughout the art world today. In fact, the Broadway hit show The Vagina Monologues is a direct response to this performance piece.

Unfortunately, Schneemann is getting a little old these days and our chances of seeing a repeat performance are slim. While we may no longer be able to bask in the glory of her yoni, we can still appreciate the magnitude of this performance by viewing prints of it at the Tate!