Video

Vesper's Stampede To My Holy Mouth

Carolee Schneemann

1992, 15:00 minutes

TAPECODE 120.05

Victoria Vesna's videotape of Carolee Schneemann explores feminist themes that have developed in tandem with their friendship. Both artists have examined female subjugation, the unconscious and paranormal, and obscured goddess religions.
For two years, Vesna, a videographer, researched and taped Schneemann in her studio and her 18th century home. Under the watchful camera eye, this portrait explores Schneemann's most intimate artistic issues.
Central to this piece is Schneemann's recent essay,
Vesper's Stampede to My Holy Mouth, where she weaves three themes: the erotic affectations of her pet cat, female genital mutilation (still common in many cultures) and cat/clitoris condemnation during witchcraft trials.
Approaching the artist's bed, a scene emerges of Schneemann's cat, Vesper, avidly kissing her mouth and breasts. Schneemann's text presents the "difference" of the feminine erotic as threatening the authoritarian male imagination, while devised punishments of clitoredectomy, burning, and Medieval witchcraft trials are presented in evidence. Transgressing cultural and societal constraints,
Vespers Stampede unveils unconscious channels of female sexuality.

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