carolee schneemann – meat joy (1964)

Writes Schneemann: Meat Joy is an erotic rite — excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chicken, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, ropes, brushes, paper scrap. Its propulsion is towards the ecstatic — shifting and turning among tenderness, wildness, precision, abandon; qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent. Physical equivalences are enacted as a psychic imagistic stream, in which the layered elements mesh and gain intensity by the energy complement of the audience. The original performances became notorious and introduced a vision of the “sacred erotic.” This video was converted from original film footage of three 1964 performances of Meat Joy at its first staged performance at the Festival de la Libre Expression, Paris, Dennison Hall, London, and Judson Church, New York City.

Meat Joy: First performed May 29, 1964, Festival de la Libre Expression, Paris. Filmed by Pierre Dominik Gaisseau. Editor: Bob Giorgio.

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