Interior Scroll or What I Did on my Vacation
A Multi-Venue Program Organized by Soft Network
July 24- September 26, 2021
Taking its title from both the extraordinary Carolee Schneemann performance that was first staged at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton on August 29, 1975 as part of Joyce Kozloff and Joan Semmel’s radical feminist exhibition entitled Women Artists Here and Now and a series of happenings organized by Allan Kaprow in 1967 throughout the Hamptons for CBS’s historic news program Eye on New York, Soft Network’s summer project gathers artwork, ephemera and moving-image from a group of intergenerational artists in a sprawling, visual poem on mediation and re-mediation.
Exhibitions and screenings span Broadway, Tribeca; Halsey McKay, East Hampton; S&S Corner Shop, Springs; Metrograph Cinema online; and the Arts Center at Duck Creek, Springs. Artworks specifically chosen for Broadway represent an expansive view of performance for the camera and look at the complicated, yet integral role archival actions take in preserving the artistic interchange of fleeting, corporeal based work as well as artist networks.
This delightful constellation of works by seventeen artists (some working collaboratively), installed in the back room of the Broadway gallery, identifies intergenerational strains of transgressive mischief. The show is part of a sprawling endeavor organized by Soft Network, founded by the curator Chelsea Spengemann and the artist Sara VanDerBeek. Other components include the excellent film series “Artists on Camera, 1967-2021” (available on demand at metrograph.com) and various events in East Hampton, New York—the original location of the fabled feminist performance piece “Interior Scroll,” which lends this exhibition its name. In August, 1975, in front of a largely female audience, the artist Carolee Schneemann unfurled a scathing text—a takedown of a male filmmaker’s pretensions—from her vagina and read it aloud. The piece is represented here by a black-and-white photograph; another black-and-white picture, of a young man with a knowing grin, shot by Alvin Baltrop at the gay cruising grounds of Manhattan’s West Side piers sometime between 1976 and 1985, also feels like a curatorial muse. The octogenarian painter Juanita McNeely’s pained but never humorless figurative canvases from the mid-eighties are always a treat to see, and a new print from Alisha B. Wormsley’s ongoing series “There Are Black People in the Future,” documenting a pair of rusted stakes and a battered cassette tape, among other artifacts, underscores the show’s mood of radical time travel.
— Johanna Fateman, The New Yorker