UNfolding at One World Trade Center, 2019
UNfolding (2012 - 2019)
UNfolding is a durational work in which a woman in an extensive red skirt slowly moves, gradually reeling in the fabric. As the skirt gets tighter and tighter around her, it eventually forms a red trammel so restrictive, any further movement would threaten her to fall. At the end of the performance she steps out of the transformed skirt, leaving the trammel-turned-cocoon behind.
This piece, like all of Schnitzler’s work, is rooted in a practice of internal listening, where movement flows out of an authentic inner place. As the main performer of UNfolding, Schnitzler sees the red dress as representative of patriarchal attention. Red is the color of love and sexual desire, but also sacrifice. With studies showing that men are more attracted to woman wearing red, the piece becomes symbolic as the performer amasses attention to her detriment, until she breaks free to engage her identity independent of the male gaze and toward greater authenticity and self-empowerment. UNfolding is a plaidoyer to body wisdom and self-trust. Yet, the scope of the piece goes beyond that, inviting us to investigate various aspects of our cultural conditioning.
With its debut in 2012, UNfolding has since been shown at The World Trade Center (NYC), the Urban Garden Room at Bank of America Tower (NYC), Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (NYC), AOK Health Insurance (Munich), and Cameron Art Museum (Wilmington, NC), among other places. Each performance lasts between an hour and an hour and a half, as the length of the work depends on the sensations of the day.
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