Body of work: Screening, dance party in Hudson to celebrate Carolee Schneeman

Scene from Breaking the Frame (2012), a documentary film by Marielle Nitoslawska profiling Carolee Schneeman (Picture Palace Pictures)

Though they may not all realize it, contemporary women artists who are trying to reclaim the female body from the male gaze owe a great deal to pioneering painter/photographer/filmmaker/performance artist Carolee Schneeman, who first broke a lot of that ground beginning in the late 1950s. Her works, most famously Eye Body (1963), Meat Joy (1964), Fuses (1967), Interior Scroll (1975) and Up to and Including Her Limits (1976), celebrated female corporeality and challenged body taboos in ways deemed far too transgressive by critics of the time. But eventually the art world caught up with her, and the Venice Biennale awarded Schneeman its Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2017. She died on March 6.

Schneeman, a Bard graduate who lived for many decades in a house on the outskirts of New Paltz that was reputed to have been a rural hideaway during Hollywood’s Golden Era for orgies attended by the likes of Errol Flynn, also had a special attachment to the City of Hudson. “Carolee loved Hudson and one of her last wishes was to throw a party in her honor at Second Ward Foundation,” say the organizers of the tribute that’s happening on Saturday evening, May 18.

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The event, titled “A Celebration: Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019),” begins with a screening at 5 p.m. of Breaking the Frame (2012), a documentary film by Marielle Nitoslawska profiling Schneeman. It will be presented at Hudson Hall, at 327 Warren Street in Hudson. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., a dance party will follow at the Second Ward Foundation, located at 71 North Third Street in Hudson. There will be a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, deejaying by Tedd Patterson and a performance by Davon. A selection of Schneeman’s artwork will be on view in the side gallery.

Admission is free to both the screening and the party, but reservations are recommended, at https://sforce.co/30o599J for the film screening and https://bit.ly/2VDUI30 for the dance party. A donation of $50 to the Carolee Schneemann Foundation entitles you to an open bar throughout the night. To learn more, visit www.secondward.org/upcoming.html and https://bit.ly/2VqDocK.

Saturday, May 18, 5 p.m.: Breaking the Frame screening, Free, Hudson Hall, 327 Warren St., Hudson, https://bit.ly/2VqDocK

8 p.m.: Dance party/art exhibition, Free admission/$50 open bar, Second Ward Foundation, 71 North Third St., Hudson, RSVP https://bit.ly/2VDUI30

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