CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN: EMAIL A FEW DAYS BEFORE SHE DIED.
CAROLEE EMAIL TO ME A FEW DAYS BEFORE SHE DIED
From: Carolee Schneemann Sent: Monday, February 11, 2019 3:13 PM To: linda montano Subject: Art/Hospital - Life/Death
Oh dearest Linda.... what a spectacular exhibit. It brings the depth of your psychic clarity, the richness of your communicating compassion, and your fearless experience of the layers of life and death.....And how beautifully this is at last brought to full
realization in your dorsky exhibit.
I revere the clarity with which your work melds the fragile details of aesthetic material within the mysterious orb of death, marking, incising all the details of daily ness which are poignant and illusive.
Your little fabric sculptures are amazing... they activate every sense of tactility from childhood to the moment here, when we want to touch them, unwrap them, hold them......becuase your art can be permeable, transparent, and enveloped in the issues which
most perplex human life, and which you bring forward through your fearless agency.
I’m reading “Why Religion” by Elaine Pagels. I had been graced by my friendship with Elian and her husband Heinz... and she has finally been able to write of the depth of her suffering at the death of her very magical little son, Mark, who was — I believed—
conceived in spite of her heretical revelations of the content of the gnostic gospels. We were close friends in the 70s when the religious autocracy decided it would be the safest procedure to have this brilliant young woman scholar be the translator... because
the patriarchs anticipated that she would be given a non disclosure contract, and would obey their mandate that she could not publish or publicize any of the information she translated.
But Elaine felt that these suppressed gospels would introduce the lost, the suppressed female participation as a partner to Jesus’ teachings. It was this transgression that made us very fearful when she and Heinz intended to have children, and she kept having
miscarriages. So, at this time, we organized a fertility ritual with Mary Beth Edelson. The birth of her magical child and his excruciating death from a hole in his heart, followed soon after by the demise of her adored husband — so capable, so strong — who
fell from a mountain path during a meeting between physics scholars on a familiar hiking trail in Colorado.
You probably know her writing, and of course, Why Religion concretizes unimaginable domestic tragedy. She has finally been able to write about the personal history, which brings us all in contact with what is most suppressed, feared and denied
— beyond religious experience.
I was very gratified and touched by your coffin installation. It’s the new avant-garde to absorb the death of so many friends and colleagues. So I felt — there you are in that imagined coffin.... this is very avant garde! that you have the crazy courage to
present us with our fear, our dread.
For myself, on my birthday, October 12th, I was fortunate to g down the road... the road that I have traveled for 50 years, to the catholic cemetery — which has just sold its pastures and cliffside to the town of Rosendale.... it’s amazing and wonderful to
have found a lovely burial spot on my own road.
For $800 I have a little plot. 10ft by 10ft with the requirement that all burials be green.....and since I believe, as a cat person, that cats don’t want to be put into a furnace — it utterly ruins our fur— and that here my little town has supplied my future
needs. You probably know the filmmaker deedee halleck, and it was her invitation to the burial of her husband, Joel koval, that lead me to the pasture down the road.
Thank you dearest Linda, for providing ways of passage from here and towards the inexplicable future.
With much love and grateful thanks for the beautiful Dorsky installation,