Up to and Including Her Limits, 1973-76 (video still) © Carolee Schneemann; Courtesy of the Carolee Schneemann Foundation, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), Galerie Lelong & Co., Hales Gallery, and P•P•O•W, New York

In 1975 I was concentrating on certain displacements of painting, film and video. Up to and Including Her Limits (earliest version in London called Trackings) was also a physicalized extension of the Super 8 diary film “Kitch’s Last Meal” which preoccupied me from 1973–1976. My questions then: Was I, as an artist, more actual in the dailiness of the diary film — assumed active in the labor which produced the film and was also as film’s subject? Or was I more actual projected framed light in a public space, propelled to mark, where my actions could be viewed at any time? To use my body as the agency of stroke and mark, to contain the body’s suspension on the rope was a questioning of time. I was also thinking about how a lived public action would become film or video document, its energy encapsulated as another sort of diary.

The performative action was done in a darkened space, framed by the light from an 8mm projector (see enclosed photocopies). The sound on the film and video document is ambient: the ropes swishing, body striking against the side wall and fragments of the soundtrack of “Kitch’s Last Meal”. As my actions were illuminated by the light of the reeless projector, the diary film “Kitch’s Last Meal” was sporadically projected (a decision taken by volunteer projectionists) at an angle to the marked walls. There were also opposite to the drawing area, a stack of video monitors showing direct relay live action, and previous video documentation. Could the agency of “the drawing body” dissolve the frame between painting, film and video? And would these various framings sustain immediacy and intimacy?


My concern with extracting a live presence in video began with Up to and Including Her Limits (1973–1980); a performance which was conceived to be repeated over an extended time period; for each performance of Up to and Including Her Limits a video documentation was shot so that live performance closed circuit pre-recorded video of the same actions were shown concurrently on a group of monitors adjacent to the performance. How many monitors and how many “accumulations” of the live performance would finally replace the live actions itself? In its final form, Up to and Including Her Limits was composed of five video monitors……. the two tapes edited responsively…….

C. Schneemann